B****y Taxe Foncière

I am at my wit's end

I moved into my house in 2009 and since then have been paying a full TF rate despite the fact that it is only partially habitable.

I have sent off at least three declarations as keeping up with payments has been impossible and I am now hugely in arrears and trying to keep the huissier from the door.

I am about to send off yet another declaration but this time the Mairie is sending a rep over (who is sworn) to verify that I live in a dump (which I love nonetheless).

I have just had the local tax office on the phone again to say that if I don't keep up the agreed (huge) monthly payments they will once again ask the huissier to pass by and basically help himself.

When I said that we (meaning everyone in the village plus the Mairie) have calculated that it is in fact Les Impots who owe me more than 3,000e, I was told 'too bad, until your declaration has been treated you need to keep paying'.

I can't afford a lawyer so my question is are there any organisations out there who could help me with this?

Have any of you had this problem?

We are expected to pay all charges promptly, yet when it is clear that French admin owe us something it is nigh impossible to get a result, let alone a quick one.

Help! I am going increasingly insane here!

PS here is a photo of what most of my ground floor looks like!

Hi Bob

I started another thread afterwards - as I finally got it sorted! Yippee

I received a large refund and my TF was recalculated. I had to have the Mairie over to draw up an attestation on the state of my home and I am now billed 650€ rather than 1,400€

Castres tax office were great

However, my refund only went back two years - apparently I should have appealed before. Which I had done...except this time around I marched in to the Mairie and kicked up a fuss

Thanks for your message

I hate French admin - and yes, I'm a translator so also have to deal with RSI/RAM - you have my sympathy LOL

Hi Sarah

Not having read the entire thread I'm not sure at what point you find yourself, but I have a similar situation in that part of my house is finished (applying the term as loosely as possible) & I'd like to join it to the other bit of the house...the definition of finished is the problem though, as I'm taxed separately on the two parts of the house, as if they are two separate properties (?!). The tax said to me that if it has a roof, water & electricity, is not open to the elements, then they consider it liveable. I dealt with Mazamet tax office & the chap there was as helpful as he could be.....have you tried "la maison de la justice" in Mazamet ? They may be able to point you in another direction. I know French admin is expensive & slow as I'm currently amongst the thousands trying to resolve problems with RSI, but that's another tale

Good luck though

Yes absolutely

I live in about 50m2 (around 80m2 is habitable) and the rest is a tip

I will pass on any info I get once I have had my meeting

A friend is coming along to as she helps local retired people with their admin and is interested to hear what is said

I have seen the doc you linked

I am hoping that my meeting in Castres will result in me being given a definitive response as far as the law goes

The doc you linked was one of the reasons why I did not appeal immediately - like you

One of my neighbours has a lovely ground floor but as has kept it 'sufficiently' uninhabitable and therefore not taxable by the TF - she has saved 80m2 and it has been the case for 7 years now (on the basis that it 'has no ceiling' - she puts up a temporary cover in summer and it becomes their summer living area!

I'm confused too Andrew, I guess a lot of people reading this will be down to the taxe office to claim rebates!

Blimey Sarah if that is the case, it will be worth my while making my house 95% inhabitable just to get out of paying huge sums. We only need a little box room to live in! Could save ourselves a fortune here! ;-)

Interesting, and I hope you win this one, Sarah, but I've paid on a couple of places where they weren't habitable - I had the attestations to prove it and was exempt from taxe d'habitation, but had to pay the foncière as, I was told, it was on the buildings regardless of their condition...? Like you, I'm bilingual, so no problems understanding people, I've also owned 6 different houses here so have a little experience... and I'm now confused! Especially as the gov site simply mentions "bâti' see here

Actually paying only for habitable parts has been confirmed and has never been in question

Most of my entourage never completely finish works so that they don't have to pay - their extensions, loft conversions etc are declared as still in progress

The problem here is that my previous declarations disappeard in to the ether...and I have paid around 3000 more than I should have. Plus they managed to ignore that the building is no longer used for commercial purposes (it is an abandoned bakery).

It is has been more or less confirmed that as from 2015 I will be billed based on 80m2 habitable rooms rather than 184m2 total floor space

I know others who have had their bills reduced on this basis

BTW what REALLY annoys me is that each tax office contradicts the other in some respects - local one says a cadastrale rep has to come by, main tax office In Castres says they no longer do it that way...

Gosh you are all making me even more determined! LOL

Even if it doesn't go my way I feel like being a mosquito...keeping buzzing around and stinging them

You only pay (for the building part) for the rooms that are considered habitable

yes I have hand held clients through a similar situation

In my case my 'appeals' have not been received

So my latest one is drawn up, the Maire Adjoint or our local Gendarme (both assérmenté) will verify and then I will make an appointment with the right person at the central Impots (not the satellite office in village next door) and hand it over

Plus one of our conseil municpale members was a Prud'homme for 10 years so he is gong to speak to the mediateur, who he knows

I am not going to let them get away with this - the impots have admitted that I am not liable for inhabitable parts and I just want my money back!

Ah good to know as the letters advising me of a visit all say that as this is the Impots they can just come and help themselves!

Trados makes me lose the will to live!

I mainly do agency work and have just signed up for a couple more. One of my current ones asked me to a sit an exam which would bring my word rate up to my 'private client' rate so finges crossed I get it!

If I nothing to do I will even take agency mininum pay docs as they take seconds to do and therefore on an hourly basis I can make quite good money - totally agree with what you say

And, yes I prefer a French uni but it seems that they are still not at ease with correspondence courses

So at the moment it looks like Bristol may be top of my list...

Thanks for the advice (as always :-) )

"thirded" - it's in the name, it taxes the foncier, nothing to do with being habitable :-(

I think you are correct Peter. That is how I understand it.

You're right, Peter. When we applied for a rebate, the inspector told us that we probably wouldn't be granted anything as the existence of rebates actually went against the grain of the TF principle and that it was very rare to get any kind of special treatment. He was right. We didn't.

I always understood that the taxe fonciere is a LAND and STRUCTURE tax, with certain abattements (age, and newness of structure). So you paid it, regardless of the condition of the building. Am I wrong?

The huissier can't help himself, but when we appealed for a rebate for our taxe foncière (the house was inhabitable), the fonctionnaire who accepted our claim at the tax office forgot about it and a few months later the money was seized from my brother's bank account (at the time we owned the property jointly, but he had been paying the TF when our dad was still alive).

We are French, at least in part, went to school here, speak and understand the language and system. It doesn't always help.