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If you own a property in France, you will be affected by a new declaration obligation. It consists of a form to be completed, not a new tax. Beware of penalties for failing to declare your property before the deadline.

A new declaration for residential properties

This new reporting obligation (called the ‘GMBI’) follows a decision ratified by the French 2020 Finance Act to abolish the residence tax (taxe d’habitation) for main homes.

As a result, the French tax authorities now need updated information from homeowners about the state of occupancy of their properties. The residence tax remains payable for properties occupied as a secondary residence. The information provided in the declaration will also be used to determine and levy the tax on vacant dwellings.

Who needs to file the new declaration?

The new form must be completed by the owners of properties located in France that are used for residential purposes.

It is the type of use of the property and its location in France that make the declaration applicable:

  • regardless of the owner's country of residence for tax purposes, which means the measure extends to non-French residents, and
  • regardless of the owner's status, whether an individual or legal entity.

Companies owning a property in France that is used as a dwelling are also affected, even if they are incorporated abroad.

The tax authorities have provided for specific, more complex cases of property ownership:

  • In the case of joint ownership, only one declaration is required; if more than one declaration is submitted, the most recent one will be deemed valid.
  • In cases of split ownership of the property subject to the declaration, the declaration must be made by the usufructuary.
  • In the event of the property owner's death, there are two options:

- If the estate is settled, the heir who is the new owner must make the declaration

- If the estate is in the process of being settled, the notary can file the temporary information related to the property’s occupation.

  • If the property is in the process of being sold, the new owner must make the declaration as soon as the sale has been registered.

What information must be reported?

The new declaration must specify the nature of the property's occupation and the identity of the occupants.

If you are the person who has the use of the property, you must state whether it is your principal or secondary residence or whether the property is left vacant.

When and how is the new declaration made?

The first declaration must be filed online by 30 June 2023, regarding the occupation situation on 1 January 2023.

It is important to note that the declaration must be made each time there is a change in the occupancy of the property. For example, if the information declared on 1 July 2023 changes on 20 January 2024 (change of tenant for example), then a new declaration must be made by 30 June 2024. If there is no change in the information, then no new declaration is required.

Companies will need to log in to their business account and subscribe to the ‘GMBI’ service.

There is no paper form for the declaration so taxpayers without online access will have to contact the tax authorities.

What are the penalties for non-declaration?

For failure to declare, or if the declaration is inaccurate, the owner is liable to a fine of €150 per premises.

Find out more
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Arnaud da Costa
Tax and Estate Planner
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