Late payment of taxe d'habitation

We have always paid our taxe d’habitation for our holiday house in France by prelevement, with no trouble. We receive the demand and I make sure there is enough money in the bank. We have just received the bill with fine for non payment. I will contact the bank on Tuesday to see if something has gone wrong their end but wonder if something has changed with payment methods that I am unaware of?

Thanks for any light on why this might have happened this year.

Briony… Oh dear…If you have been doing prelevement for some years, this is the only thing I can think of…

It sounds like the Bill did not drop on your mat and you therefore did not put the funds into your Bank…

Thus when they tried to take the prelevement it may have been refused by your Bank (lack of funds)… hence they would consider it unpaid + interest now due…(the Bill you have now received).

Check with your Bank… but I suspect my scenario is close to the truth.

It can be difficult with prelevements as the onus is on the customer to ensure sufficient funds are available in the Bank account. Not receiving advance notification that they are taking the funds is not usually any defence, but you could give it a try if, indeed, this is what has happened.

Best of luck.

Hi Stella,
Thanks for your quick reply, but there was a few thousand in the bank, so it isn’t that. I am puzzled :confused: .


Mmm… I would take a copy of the bank statement down to the Tresor Publique along with the bill you have now received… and ask them why they did not take the prelevement.

Ask them: Has something changed?? If so, what ?? They should be able to check and get things sorted.

(You’re sure it is Prelevement and not TIP ??)

Be polite, but firm.

Thank you Stella I will give it a try. I thought perhaps this payment method had beeen stopped for some reason.
Enjoy your evening.

I’m busy tapping away with various computer bits… before switching off for a stormy night…

Are you sure? The forecast looks pretty benign overnight.

David… the wind was picking up, yet again, as I was typing last night…with rain lashing down .

Thankfully, although strong… the winds did not actually knock out the electricity again… just a few flickers to keep us on our toes…(torches at the ready).

Not sure what today will bring… meteo is looking dire… the trees are waving wildly and the black clouds are scudding by…(hopefully to deluge elsewhere).

I’m fairly sure it hasn’t been stopped but there have been a lot of changes to the online tax system over the last year or two, mainly for the benefit of French taxpayers so that more processes can be done online and we have more control over how we pay our various taxes. Certainly when you set up a prelevement on a new account for business taxes there is a security procedure to go through, you have to send confirmation to your bank and you also have send a signed paper copy of the instruction to the tax office. It seems unlikely they would apply this in retrospect to non residents for arrangements already set up, but maybe you do have to reconfirm the instruction to your bank? but surely they would have written and told you.

There was also the changeover to SEPA but I’m sure that was all completed well over a year ago, and it didn’t affect most payments.

Can’t think of any other reason, hopefully it was an error their end and they’ll cancel the late payment fine! I suspect you may need to contact the tax office themself rather than your local Trésor, but I’ve always found them very helpful.

Fair comment, Anna…

Briony is talking about Taxe d’Habitation and I was thinking of my own situation… as my local Tresor Publique is a short drive, whereas the Tax Office is a much longer drive for me…The TP have been useful on many occasions, but not always able to solve a query.

So, I would suggest Briony looks at her own situation and visits which ever Office is closest to home, in the first instance…

I keep a careful eye on the weather at the coast and my reply was a bit tongue in cheek because usually 35-40km/h winds would be considered strong but the day after reports of 100+km/h winds they seem to be harmless. Very blustery here today.

Ha ha… yesterday’s winds certainly got everyone here twitching … much, much stronger than forecast…I am sure everyone’s alcohol intake rose dramatically…I certainly kept my glass topped up.

At one point… never mind that the roof was about to go… it seemed as if the stone walls were shaking… “the earth moved” :wink:

Thanks for the advice. Our local tresor is ten minutes drive away so I am aiming to go in there and see why the payment didn’t get taken this year. It has been prelevement for at least seven years, so seems very strange.

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If you had a direct debit, Iike you I can see no reason, but if you had given credit card details to the authority has your card changed or expired? In this case the payment would have course been refused…

I know that although the Tax Office had our bank details in the form of a TIP sometimes the bank where the money is to be withdrawn needs to be warned to expect the withdrawal. I thought this was odd but have had to complete forms from the Tax Office to send to the bank few times in the past just for this purpose. Maybe the bank just refused to honour the request.

Thank you all for your replies. I went to the bank yesterday got a list of our prelevements, including this, took it to the local finance office, who accepted payment without the surcharge, and gave me a new prelevement form to fill in. They said their records didn’t show one was set up. Very strange, but all sorted now.

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Glad it is all sorted… well done.