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Legal Aid

The Notaries Fees

These fees can range between 3% and 13% of the purchase price. (This may be 3% for brand new property). Generally speaking, the notaire fees average 7% to 8%. They are fixed by law and include disbursements, taxes, various duties as well as searches at the land and mortgage registry. VAT may be payable for properties under 5 years of age, where there has been no previous sale.

Land Tax or Property Tax ("impôt foncier")

This is an annual charge payable to the city. The "taxe foncière" is due and payable on 1st January of every year by the owner as registered at the "Mairie" (town hall) of the city ("commune"). There is a two years exemption for newly built properties

Capital Gains Tax on the sale of French property

The sale of a French resident's main residence is exempt from Capital Gains Tax
In other cases, the deductible cost is calculated as follows:
Purchase cost multiplied by 107.50% plus
Improvement / renovation costs, in the case where invoices can be produced. If not, 15% of the purchase cost is allowed if the sale takes place at least five years after acquisition.
From the gross gain (plus-value brute), the following deduction can be made:
10% for each year after the fifth year that the property has been held, plus
1,000 Euros flat rate deduction
The resulting taxable gain (plus value imposable) is subject to the following tax rates:
Residents of the European Union 16%
Others 33.33%
French residents pay 16% tax on the gain, plus Social Charges which are currently 10%.

Inheritance Taxes

There is no French inheritance tax between man and wife.
However, you do not have complete freedom to dispose of your French property on your death as you might wish.
French law gives your children entrenched rights to a certain proportion of your French estate, known as the reserve legale. You can only freely dispose the quotite disponible by way of gifts or a Will.
 For example, if you are survived by one child then you cannot give away any more than half your French estate either during your lifetime or by Will.
If you are survived by 2 children then this limit is reduced to one-third, and to one-quarter if you are survived by 3 or more children. Should you have no children you are free to dispose of your wealth as you wish.
There are many ways in which you can undertake inheritance planning, notably through the use of gifts during your lifetime.
Alternatively, if you are non-resident, one way of avoiding the effects of French inheritance law is to set up a company for the purpose of buying the property. Such companies are called Sociétés Civiles Immobilières' (SCI). If you own shares in an SCI, which owns the property, you can dispose of them in accordance with the law where you are domiciled.
 Another way is to buy the property en tontine. It quite simply means that on the death of one partner the property passes to the survivor.  

Dwelling tax ("Taxe d'habitation")

This is another tax payable to the "commune" by the person actually in occupation of the property (so, if a house is let, the tenant would be liable to pay, not the landlord; if the house is occupied rent free, the occupant is liable). The "taxe d'habitation" is due and payable on 1st January of each year. In case of a leaseback property this tax is paid by the management company.

Income tax ("Impôt sur le revenu " )

Upon the income received from letting property in France . Any person not resident in France who receives rent from property there (even though the rent be paid in the Country where the person lives) is assessable to French income tax upon it. You will be taxable in function of your total income in France , after all deduction. Tax bracket range from 0% to 55%. in case of leaseback LMNP this will not apply

Wealth Tax (impôt de solidarité sur la fortune)

French Wealth Tax is payable on net assets above 790000€ held on 1st January. French residents must include all world-wide assets and send in their declaration and payment by 15th June.
"Non-residents" with property in France are only liable for wealth tax on assets physically situated in France (therefore excluding purely financial investments) and have slightly longer to declare (17th July for Europeans and 31st August for non Europeans). Residency is defined by French law and is not simply a matter of being present for 183 days

790 000 euros........................................................

0,00 %

From 790 000 to 1 290 000 euros.....................

0,55 %

From 1 290 000 to 2 530 000 euros..................

0,75 %

From 2 530 000 to 3 980 000 euros..................

1,00 %

From 3 980 000 to 7 600 000 euros..................

1,30 %

From 7 600 000 to16 540 000 euros.................

1,65 %

More 16 540 000 euros.........................................

1,80 %


The French parliament has agreed partial exemption for five years from French wealth tax for most people moving to France after 6th August 2008. This is part of the Loi de la Modernisation de l'Economie approved during summer 2008 (when most French were away on holiday!). Amongst other objectives this law aims to encourage high-earning professionals to move to France. The ISF exemption is similar to the existing US treaty and the new Anglo-French treaty. The exemption only covers assets outside France, so careful financial planning is necessary. Newcomers may now prefer to choose appropriate foreign assets that fall under favorable French tax rules - but beware of the additional costs if living off foreign assets...


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