Declaring property renovation changes for local tax - H1 form

I know this has been raised in the past, but I wonder if anyone has good up to date information, or knows of somewhere to point me towards some, on completing this form now and the procedures around it. A friend recently filled one out and just had a visit from someone at the tax office who assessed all their buildings - even a small wooden shed for the pool equipment - as habitable and thus taxable. I'm filling one in for our renovations which are more-or-less completed and don't want the same response. The form itself seems very brief but full of ambiguities and I'm concerned that I may may place some parts of our house and outbuildings into the wrong category and bring unnecessary extra taxation upon us. We've already got very expensive taxes fonciere and habitation and I really don't want it to go up any more - we've put in extra bath/shower rooms but reduced bedrooms, demolished a barn, changed pig houses into wood strores, a chai into a garage etc. The notes on the form itself are not very detailed and raise as many questions as they answer, and I cannot find any other printed source of more detail. Can anyone help please?

Many thanks in hope. Rhys

Hi Rhys, having had another look it seems that ALL covered space above 1.8m is included in the Surface Taxable, including loft spaces, even if the floor won't support the weight of a person (in which case, best to take the floor out!).

You can deduct uninhabitable areas from the calculation of Surface de Plancher (which seems to have replaced SHOB and SHON in 2012), which has an effect on Taxe D'Amenagement, for example, and whether you need architect's drawings (I believe this is compulsory if existing Surface de Plancher is over 150sq m). You can't deduct them from Surface Taxable, though. This link should help a bit:

The other calculation of note is the Surface Habitable, but that seems to be more relevant to rented properties and price per square metre etc.

Hope that's useful - even if not what you want to hear!
All best, Dave

At most I would say that the area with no ceilings may be considered loft space but with no access I would consider it unusable so not list it. But every tax office seems to have their own oideas

I was reliably told also that any part of the habitable property where the height from floor to ceiling is under 1.8 mtrs is considered uninhabitable so well worth if in doubt get the tape measure out

Many thanks for all the useful replies. A couple of follow-ups please:

Fiona: Who / what is the Antenne Cadastrale? We plan to visit the Hôtel des Impôts in Saintes this week - is this the person or department to ask for? The receptionist there said we don’t need an appointment – just turn up – but I don’t know if that will get us to the right person. The last person we spoke with there said they had all the information about our property but weren’t allowed to print it for us or show it us as it wasn’t owned by them, suggesting a different department. It sounds like we need this fiche d’evaluation mentioned by Robert, to see what is recorded already.

I’m a bit worried about Rebecca’s point about 1.8metre ceiling height as well, as our old chai and cellier are both well above this height, but don’t have ceilings – they just go up to the roof tiles /sheets. Also, although they are part of the same building as the main house, there is no direct access between the house and these spaces, so I’m hoping they won’t count. Any value in taking a picture of the roofs of each to show them, do you think?

Our changes have all been internal rearrangements to internal walls and room usages, except for the new piscine (with a lot more paving) and demolition of a big detached grange, which were notified at the time but haven’t made their way through to any changes to our taxe, though they’re both reflected on the cadastral plan already, so we’re hoping its not going to make much difference – originally 6 bedrooms, now four; originally one bathroom, one shower room and two WCs, now 1 bathroom, 4 shower rooms and one WC; old dining room now a kitchen. Old kitchen now an office, old back-kitchen now a laundry room. Overall building surface area exactly the same, but since the form asks for the areas and we don’t know what’s previously been declared, if it doesn’t match…

Anyway, fingers crossed and we’ll hope for the best. Thanks for everyone’s replies, links etc.

Thanks for the ifo Dave, i am expecting my tax fon to go up because it has increased the surface area of the property.. but i still remain as 3 pieces for habitation.. 1 larger lounge area and 2 bedrooms remain the same. my understanding is kitchens are not included for taxe hab purposes.. a friend rebuild a wreck some years ago and fiilled in every box as habitable.. bathroom, shower, loos.. declared about 8 pieces!!.. they taxed him to the hilt.. until he made an appeal where they visited and re-evaluated and made him 4 pieces..

Rebeccas article makes for interesting reading.. have to look harder at what it says later on..

thanks for the info guys

Very useful links Rebecca, thanks!

They have been bookmarked.....

Hi Rebecca, seems we posted at the same time! I think that SHOB and SHON have now been replaced by Surface de Plancher though. I'm still getting my head around it all! Have a great day :)

Hi Bob W. (and Rhys)
I've just built a large wooden shed/workshop and have a bill for taxe d'amenagement (construction tax) and have completed H1. It will be included in Taxe Fonciere and Taxe D'Habitation, despite being a separate wooden shed! All annexes are included (except a shed less than 5sq m). What it says in your quote, Bob, is in relation to what you call a 'pièce', when you tell them how many pièces you have, not what's taxable (sorry!). You then have to tell them how many kitchens and bathrooms and WC's you have, plus garages and other outbuildings.
The calculations for Surface Taxable, Surface Habitable, Surface de Plancher etc are a bit convoluted. They can even tax you on an uncovered and unenclosed wooden terrace, if there is storage space beneath it! Car ports are expensive, as are any offroad car parking spaces.
Sorry mate, I think you'll find your new build might not be a 'pièce' if it's a kitchen, but it will most certainly be taxed for taxe d'amenagement, taxe fonciere and taxe d'habitation.

having talked to the Tax Office and local councillors, a space is considered ‘habitable’ if the ceiling space is more than 1,8m high. whether you use it for a storage space or a kitchen is immaterial if it is joined to the house or in the house, unless it is a garage or other separate usage as per the form. But Les Impots use different formulae than the architects and the council.

‘Considérez comme pièce tout espace, partiellement ou entièrement cloisonné, destiné à être normalement utilisé pour y séjourner, y dormir ou y prendre les repas.’

Les éléments de surfaces suivants n’entrent pas dans le calcul de la surface habitable :

les combles non aménagées
les caves
les sous-sols
les remises
les garages
les terrasses
les loggias
les balcons
les séchoirs extérieurs au logement
les vérandas
les volumes vitrés prévus à l’article R. 111-10 (volume vitré capteur d’apport solaire ou pour renforcer l’isolation phonique)
les locaux communs et autres dépendances des logements
les parties de locaux d’une hauteur inférieure à 1.80 m

but Les Impots use different criteria than SHOB (surface habitable) or SHON (for calculating total surface in planning permissions). how to calculate the surface areas applicable. with pictures to show how they do it

there is in fact lots of information on the web about calculating the space and filling in the form, on the french forums in french, As with everything, it takes a bit of trawling and reading… hope this helps

Interesting topic....

I was sent an H1 about 2 years ago and at the time I was in the UK. I emailed them to explain this and I've not heard from them since. But I had heard the phrase "fiche d'evaluation" and asked them in the email to send me it as it may help me fill the form in. Although I had a standard reply from the email, the "fiche d'evaluation" request was completely ignored.

Does anyone know if "is" it your "right" to see this document?? From what I gather it should explain how your current taxe fonciere is calculated. A very useful piece of paper if you ever get to see it.

Hi Rhys,

Going off my recent experience in dept 35 following the completion of a complete renovation of a derelict longer I would say:

Keep it simple (my new brick shed was included by the local rep who came out to check my declaration)

If you are not sure, leave it off.

Don't forget that you have the option to contest your tax bill when it finally arrives (can take up to 12 months). This will automatically freeze the bill for 6 months and it becomes the tax departments responsibility to confirm/correct and re-issue the bill. you can then ask for a payment schedule if its quite high.

If you are on good terms with your Marie they are always a good sounding board and generally on your side in these matters as its local v state.

Good luck, hope it gets resolved to your satisfaction.

I took mine to the Antenne Cadastrale and the very nice man asked me questions and filled it in for me. He had all the information they held on the property to hand, so it was just simply showing which bits had changed. Easy peasy!

i'm glad you raised the question as i'm building a new kitchen extension and wondered what to do about declaring it, and if i catch a tax hike,,

looking at the form H1 from the gouv web site there is a line on the first page saying;

Consistance de la maison.A Pièces et annexes affectées exclusivement à l’habitation (les pièces et annexes utilisées à la fois pour l’habitation et pour la profession sont considérées comme

affectées en totalité à usage professionnel - Voir ci-dessous rubrique 41 - B).

Considérez comme pièce tout espace, partiellement ou entièrement cloisonné, destiné à être normalement utilisé pour y séjourner, y dormir ou y prendre les repas.

if its living, sleeping or eating it catches tax... my exisitng kitchen is in the lounge area and wil be removed to give living space, but the new build should not attract extra tax as it is not "habitable" by their description.. and there will not be sufficient space to dine in it..

hope it gives you a clue how to procede

We understand .If it is not habitable you do not pay habitation tax on the building.
We had a similar problem when we bought some derelict land. This land hand previously had a house build on it which had been tumbled down for many years. When we cleared it and made a big terrace with caves under for wine and storage…We received the H1 form.

We took this to our Marie who sorted it out for us. Hope this helps

Hi Rhys. I’ve just completed the form and it’s very straightforward. However the form gives you no clues as to how much you will be taxed . It’s fair to say that extra bathrooms increase your taxation. Just complete the form as candidly as you can. The gods of taxation will tax you inscrutably.

I'm strugging to determine if a feature in my apartment should be included or not. There's a large ledge in each room due to the construction of the building that's 0.8m high, and runs along all of the windows (13.4m length x 0.5m wide) - so it has a footprint if about 7m2 in the apartment.

I can put stuff on it, but I can't walk on it; and it's fundamental to the construction of the space - it's a concrete/brick support for the roof :).

Question is - is this part of my habitable property or not?

What do you think?

Hi Andy,

The surface area to be included are "floors" surface areas with more than 1,8 m height (till the ceiling). I would say that these ledges are not part of the floor (plancher) and (from the picture) the height above them is < 1,8 m.