Taxe Fonciere error (not ours) ... when should we expect our money back?

Hi all,

Don't ask me how, but the bureau des impots made a right mess of our taxe fonciere last year. Our only home suddenly became a second home, without warning, and there were other mistakes too. Weird! They didn't explain at all how they came to *alter* our records without us having reported or sent anything, I guess it was just a clerical error, but wow!

Anyway, they have self-corrected, we have a letter saying they owe us ~€200 ... which we were hoping to get as a rebate at some point. We'd like to check into it, but the lady on the front desk at the local bureau is *awful*. You just can't get past her to even ask a simple question. If we go there to ask (we have) she just tells us we're not seeing an official and we have to go home and be patient. Though, unsurprisingly, we have little faith in 'the system' right now!

Does anyone know:

1. Where we can see what they have against our house for *this* year, so we can preempt a similar cock-up next year?

2. If there's an official date all the rebates occur on?

Thanks in advance! :-)

Haha, that was some years ago, and I didn't leave the hair - or the face, for that matter - like that. :-)

Thanks Kathy - I do know where my local Tax Office is, so I shall visit again before May. When I went in in October, a long queue built up while I was trying to explain myself to the girl behind the counter. I must find out what the French for "income tax form" is.

I did look at Leboncoin but they insisted on a French phone number (I still have UK mobile number, which it wouldn't accept). I also noticed that Leboncoin property adverts seem to be in French, which wouldn't be a problem if I was buying, as my reading and spoken French is OK but I would have problems with understanding French buyers though. It is also a worry about spammers. In fact, I had a message today, from a Harry Smith (always a bit wary about Smiths), on "French Classified & Property", and replied asking them, if in the area, to email to arrange a viewing - then received a message from the property site, saying to ignore Harry Smith - he is a spammer! A bit worrying. I can understand how a rental scammer would operate but as a house sale would have to involve a Notaire, I don't see what a spam might achieve. Unless he wanted to pay money into my account and thought I'd send bank details, which obviously I wouldn't - again, it would be done through a Notaire.

Anyway, good luck with your move back to UK. Hope the market here improves soon and also that the pound stops increasing againt the euro.

I've always found re-reimbursements from les Impots fairly efficient so would get on to them again.

Ahhh, OK - thanks. It was my wife she tackled, so maybe I'll go myself this time. This lady is 'known' though. My wife was telling a local friend in the village who immediately exclaimed "oh, HER!!" ... I don't understand how these people keep public facing jobs! But anyway... :-)

Thanks all - stupid thing about this is the error *was* fixed before the year end, but they took the money automatically, and they didn't take the corrected amount, they (of course) took the original amount. So we couldn't stop them taking it and now we're waiting for it back, but it's been over 2 months now since the error was corrected and 6 weeks since we paid. So if Doreen's cheque took a month from correspondence, we're well beyond that... Hmm...

You will usually get a cheque in the post - can take a few weeks.

Gillian, we have been here for five years and the bureaucracy does not get any better, I'm afraid. We are also making plans to move back to civilisation. Have you tried advertising your house on Leboncoin? Here's a link: It's simple to do and I know people for whom it has had speedy results. It's free to advertise.

As for the property taxes, you will need to visit your local Hotel des Impots (Google it for your area) to ask about it. Generally, whoever is in the property on the 1st January pays the taxe fonciere and taxe d'habitation for that year. As you bought your apartment after 1st January 2013, you will not be liable for that year. Your obligation will start from 1st January this year and the bill will come out towards the end of the year.

The income tax return is due each May; in our case, we had to ask at the Hotel des Impots for our first tax return form, after which they come automatically.

I hope you have luck selling your house. The market is depressed at the moment but people are starting to look at properties now.

I know what you mean about the bureacracy here exhausting you. It has driven me mad and worn me out, and I can't wait to go back home!

We had a problem when they refunded our years TV licence then the following end of year bill they asked for it back in a lump sum (we pay for all monthly) so we emailed should have an email address on the back of your yearly bill, you will have to put it in French but they emailed straight back with an explanation, ...worth a try

Good Luck - Roz

I noticed this post this morning when I was just wondering about Tax d'Habitation and Tax Fonciere. I have been in France now for just over a year and bought my apartment at end of April 2013. I'm a bit worried as I haven't been asked to pay any taxes and was under the impression that Tax d'Habitation was paid in January every year (the Notaire did make me write a cheque to my sellers, which I assumed was for my share of last year's Tax d'Habitation, so I was sure I would be contacted before January regarding this year's). Not sure about Fonciere. I'd be most grateful if someone could tell me if a property tax office, or local council, will contact me about this (I must be on some sort of property register?) or should I enquire somewhere. It's a bit worrying as I don't want to end up being fined or having some enormous bill to pay. I did go into the local tax office last October as I kept seeing newspaper articles about Income Taxes being due and was told I would have to fill in a form next May (?) but I haven't a clue about how I go about that either.

I'm actually so exhausted by French bureaucracy that I've put my apartment on the market and am hoping to move back to the UK; I'm retired on a small income and want to live a much simpler, and cheaper, life than seems to be possible in France. Ironically, their absurd method of marketing property (no open viewing) means that I have had zero viewers in the 3 weeks on the market so far (and agent will take 10,000euros! if he does manage to find a buyer). I have put it on some online sites aimed at expat market, but no bites there so far either. So, I could be stuck here for months, while prices in the UK are increasing. I'm hoping that if I sell before May, the Notaire will sort out all the taxes I'm due, but nothing in France could be that easy, could it?

Thats the one - very useful. Always get one before any building project!

They have messed up several times with mine too and I always received a refund within a week or so after receiving the letter. The letter takes its sweet time to come though!

Peter, I believe it is called "fiche d'evaluation" according to one or two comments on here last year. I recently had reason to ask to see mine as they have asked me to fill in an "H1" (Declaration Modele). Pretty difficult as I am not actually in France at the moment. It asks for areas of all sorts of things which I simply can't measure from here in the UK.

I emailed the office and had a reply but sadly they didn't mention the "fiche d'evaluation" and so I will attempt to sort it out on my return..

Good luck with your problem and I'll keep an eye on this thread..

I would send a letter to the office (by registered post); with any luck, it will bypass the person on the front desk, who probably has no right to refuse your request to see someone about the problem. Good luck, although I suspect that your rebate will just be taken off your next bill rather than refunded back to you, even though it's your money, not theirs!

Hi, I didnt think Taxe Fonciere would be altered by second home status, but I may be wrong. Are you sure you dont mean Taxe Habitation? There is an official form that details the characteristics of your house - I think its called a Fiche I, and you can send for it. We did it once for a Planning consent thing, so that we would not get the taxable surface area wrong. If you're interested, I'll try and find the proper name of it. Have you tried asking in your Mairie. Generally, you have till the end of the year to request a refund, but that does'nt mean you will get it by the end of the year!