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Escalating French Taxes Compound Struggles for Second Home Owners

Tax on second homes
French tax

LIVE_Increased French taxes are exacerbating the challenges for individuals owning second
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Increased French taxes are exacerbating the challenges for individuals owning second homes in the country. British citizens are feeling the pinch as they grapple with heightened property taxes and post-Brexit regulations limiting their stay.


With Brexit restrictions limiting visa-free stays in the EU to 90 days within a 180-day period, coupled with escalated tax rates, the frustration among the 86,000 British households with second homes in France is palpable. Pensioners, accustomed to spending extended periods in their holiday residences, are particularly affected by these residency limitations, further compounded by the impending hike in residence taxes.


The proposed increase, a minimum of 7.1 percent but potentially reaching up to 60 percent in certain regions, is a bitter pill to swallow for homeowners. President Macron's reform has shifted the burden of the residence tax exclusively onto second homeowners, with average taxes last year standing at €772 for houses and €941 for flats and slated to rise this year.


The surcharge, aimed at areas facing housing market pressures and where locals struggle with property access, adds another layer of financial strain. Originally confined to urban and tourist hotspots, the surcharge now extends to rural regions, amplifying tensions between second homeowners and local communities.


In regions like Brittany, where a significant portion of properties are second homes, the surcharge has sparked unrest among locals, with incidents such as arson attacks reported. Britons, who own a substantial number of second homes in the region, find themselves at the forefront of these tensions, facing steep tax hikes and community backlash.


Adding to the woes, the property tax, applicable to primary and secondary residences, is also on the rise across various French municipalities. While these increases affect all homeowners, British second homeowners feel particularly aggrieved, having been side-lined during Brexit negotiations.


To stay in the EU for more than 90 days, Britons must navigate a complex and costly long-stay visa process, in stark contrast to the six-month visa-free travel granted to EU citizens in the UK. Despite these challenges, there's little evidence of Britons abandoning their French properties, although a significant portion has contemplated selling due to the restrictive regulations.


The situation underscores the mounting frustrations of British second homeowners in France, highlighting their significant economic contributions to local communities.


Of course, there’s a solution for those wanting to tough it out. Join the bandwagon, if you have the cash, and obtain a golden visa, or if you’re fortunate enough to have a foreign grandparent, see if you can obtain a second passport.


We can assist those seeking golden visas or investment migration within the EU.

Contact Richard to find out more.

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