The H1 form

We bought our property 3 years ago as a ‘maison secondaire’ to enjoy family holidays in France. The Englishman that we bought it from had over the years renovated from a run down uninhabitable house with a barn into a delightful 4 bed property. He was meticulous in everything he did, kept all documentation etc.which was handed over to the notaire when he sold the property. 6 months ago, we received an H1 form to complete by our local tax office, as they said what they have on file didn’t match the calculation of our tax habitation? Our very capable estate agent who we bought the house through, said she was familiar with these and completed it and returned it .We have now been informed that the calculations of the floor space does no longer includes the 1.8mt rule ? Has anyone else come up against this ‘new ruling?’ I suspect /worry that our tax habitation might double now!? Any advice?

I think it is this reference you are being concerned with in regard to the calculation of habitable floor space…
Your seller probably used the old SHOB and SHON calculations and it is often the case that the fisc catch up with people later…
Heard/read some wonderful stories where the purchaser was told the price of the TdH was peanuts only for them to find years later that they built into the adjoining barn (and never declared it) and then hit with a bill exceeding double what they previously paid. It’s said, that is why so many houses with windows facing the street have their shutters permanently closed to keep nosy eyes away from what lies behind :wink:
The H1 is completed « on your honour » and there is no escape from paying what is rightly due (except by lying of course).

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Hi Debbie and welcome to the forum.

There are 2 taxes on a property… Owners Tax and Habitation Tax…
Both depend on the “perceived” value of the property…

sounds like there is a discrepancy between the habitable figures declared to the “property tax” folk by the previous owner… when the renovations were done…
and the figures your Agent has now supplied.

this might be a simple misunderstanding… and, provided the previous owner did in fact make a declaration… the difference might not be very much.

If the Owner did not make a declaration … then, of course, that would be a cause for concern.

Can you tell us what dept of France you are in (without giving away too much) ??

It’s not a new ruling. The Loi Carrez which governs how you can calculate habitable floor space when buying and selling a property (ie only with ceiling height above 1.8m) has nothing to do with the way the habitable space is calculated for tax! Sorry… there have been cases that have gone to the high courts and lost.

Dès lors, le fait que la superficie «loi Carrez» d’un logement, qui définit la superficie que le vendeur d’un lot de copropriété a l’obligation de garantir à l’acheteur - soit inférieure à celle calculée par application du CGI est «sans incidence sur l’application de la loi fiscale». Reste que le commun des mortels n’a aucune chance de s’y retrouver quand, selon l’usage que l’on en fait, la mesure de leur logement peut varier

Most old places seem to be revalued for taxe foncière if they haven’t been done for a long time/the house hasn’t changed hands or had work done to it - it should be done following the works but that’s in an ideal world and so a few years later sounds par for the course. Our current house was based on very old and inaccurate data and as a result our taxe foncière doubled because it hadn’t been re-valued since the 50s when it had no mains water and only half was habitable. Best speak to your local tax office :wink:


We are in 36

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Aha… my helpful contacts are a bit too far away.

I had a nasty surprise last year, similarly to yours only 20+ years after our purchase, not just 3 years like yours …

I discussed with our Mairie and, in the end, my house was inspected/measured by the Géomètre himself … and I put his figures on the form H1 and sent it back…

Yes, the property had been under-declared by the previous owners… and we are having to pay the true “%value” as from 1st January 2020 (so on this year’s bills in the autumn) but it is not being back-dated thank heavens… since it was not our fault.

Your situation might simply be a misunderstanding or mis-measurement.
Perhaps your Mairie could look at the Declarations by the previous Owner and the H1 completed by your Agent… and see where the discrepancy lies…

then at least you will know what to get double-checked.

Best of luck.

I have all the paperwork from the Notaire from the sale/purchase and all plans of rooms were included and declared. But, I did read somewhere that this ‘discrepancy ’ does occur when a house is sold and differs from what it was maybe 20 years previously, before renovation?
So I wonder if this is what has happened here, through no fault on our part?

If the renovation of your property increased the size of the habitable bits… then the value/taxes would go up…

but… those figures should have been known by the tax authorities if the renovations were correctly documented and reported as having been done…

thus the taxes/values would have been increased before now…

As I suggest, get the measurements checked against what the declared habitable measurements were when the renovations were authorized and completed.

If you do, indeed, have all the measurements/documents from the finished renovation by the previous owner … look at the H1 and see where the discrepancy now lies…

perhaps the renovation “over-ran” the authorised measurements… who knows… that certainly won’t be your fault…

I would add that our discrepancy came to light by chance and was quite funny really…

the elderly lady had only used one large room of the property… thus she declared the size of that one room as her habitation… and the rates reflected that…

when the commune was being checked-out last year… it came as surprise to the Official to find this one-roomed property was actually much larger… :thinking: :rofl:

Thank you :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m hoping it a discrepancy as the tax we are paying is approx €650 each for TH and TF a total of approx €1300. I can’t imagine that it would have been that much when the last chap bought it in 2001 as an almost uninhabitable 2 roomed maison + barn? I know that when he renovated he had a reputable French builder who dealt with all the necessary documentation, during the renovations. I asked him if he remembers filling out an H1, (as that would have come to him,) but he said he doesn’t think so!

There is a special form which the person sends back to say the authorised work has been done (date etc) and that tells the Tax folk … it comes in the authorisation package…

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I’m pegging my hopes on a miscalculation of the figures on the (newly completed) H1


If not… and the increased sum is impressive… ask for an official to visit the site, to measure/check the figures are correct… (you can at least discuss this possibility…)

There are various bits of any building which are NOT supposed to be included in the measurements for property-value/associated-tax and it’s easy to forget that… or to get it wrong…

Is it a small house? As 650€ for taxe foncière is not a lot. The average across France is over 1,000, and in places closer to 2,000.

Taxe d’habitation is now only paid by those with an annual income above a threshold (for a couple this is around 44,000€), and second home owners. We just miss out, and our taxe d’hab is also above 650€.

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Thank you , you advice has been really helpful. I know that the French tax just about everything, a pergola, a pool etc.

I think we were suprised as the original estate agents details mentioned €350 !

Can I ask, has anyone had their tax fonciere increased because of a terrasse they’ve built?

Last year we put in an above ground pool and this year we’re building a terrasse to give easier access (the pool backs in a steep bank in the garden). I’m completing the good ol’ H1 form and notice they want to know the size of the terrasse.


Of course - why wouldn’t they be taxed? You can get a detaxe on your pool if you put it at the disposal of the fire brigade for filling the fire-engine if necessary.

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Didn’t know that! Thanks!

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