Clarification on Taxe d'Habitation

Hello - I am hoping the more experienced can clarify a few things for me. We received a Demande de Renseignements regarding taxe d’hab 2021 for our house in France. In researching, it seems that the taxe d’hab is being eliminated for residents in France but not for 2nd home owners, is that correct?

Since this is a “maison secondaire”, when they ask if we are “occupying personally the location” they don’t mean whether or not we are there (which of course we can’t be due to the pandemic) they just mean we own it and no one else is occupying it/renting it? The other two options are it is vacant (which I guess means abandoned) or it is sold to someone else which do not apply.

We are not residents in France and do not earn any income in France (from the property or otherwise). Does this affect how the taxe d’hab is calculated? Or is it based on something else (local rules/# of rooms/square meters etc.)?

I am hoping they will continue to send correspondence to our address in the U.S. - still unknown as to when we might be able to return. Does anyone know when taxe d’hab is normally due? Can it be paid with a wire transfer or credit card, since we can’t be there in person?

Thank you for any information you can share.

Taxe d’habitation is due towards the end of the year - November typically for 2nd home owners, it can be paid online but you will need a French bank account. I posted some detailed notes on how to use the on-line site at gouv.fr a couple of years ago if you search the forum. I would imagine “occupying personally the location” is asking whether you rent it but others on the forum might have a better idea if they have seen the paperwork themselves.

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Taxe d’hab is paid by the people who have use of the house on 1st January each year. So if you rent it then they will ask for the name of the renters and send the bill to them.

There is no reduction for second home owners, and no reduction for not being there. The amount is based on a putative “rental value” of the property, so no relation to your income in France.

And yes you can pay online by bank transfer, or by french cheque if you have french bank account.

I don’t recall ever being asked. The first year was obviously covered by the Notaire, the second year we had to chase a little (though some of that was my not realising the ones for maisons secondaires go out a bit later than for residents) and after that I set up a prélèvement and since then all I’ve had to do is make sure there’s enough in the account and vaguely check the bill to ensure no surprises.

Thank you, Paul and Jane. Hopefully we’ll be allowed to return to France sometime this year and we can visit the local tax office and make sure everything is as it should be before the bill is released around November. As for checks, while we have had a French bank account for some time, they have refused to give us any in spite of many requests and a forest of forms. I suspect it is because French banks dislike dealing with Americans because of FATCA. So bank transfer it is.

Thanks again for all the info.