What taxes would I be required to pay when selling a property in France?

Hello everyone,

Would I be required to pay capital gains and social levies, if I were to sell a property I own in France? I am a non-resident of France. I live in the UK. I do not own any other property in or outside of France. Would I be required to pay any additional fees, other the agency and notaire fees?

I was under the impression that capital gains tax is for second homes only, is this true? The information available online is intended for those who own second homes in France, and/or pay taxes in France. Neither of which applies to me. I do not own a second home and the only tax I pay is taxe fonciere. I’m really quite confused. I have never sold a property before and I would really appreciate any advice.

Thank you,

There will doubtless be lots of ideas back and forth…

but your best bet might be to ask the Notaire who will be able to assess the reality of your situation… and advise you what you would have to pay on selling the property.

Sometimes folk can come unstuck when they go ahead with something convinced of a certain outcome… only to find “whoever” (in your case the Notaire) does not agree… :thinking:

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First off, are you likely to make any capital gain? As many people don’t!!

The main principal is that you are a UK resident and so must declare and pay any capital gains in the UK first. Doesn’t matter that this is your only property as if it is not your principal residence (and it can’t be if you are a UK resident) then it is not exonerated. A second home means a house that is secondary, ie other than your principal residence. Presumably you live somewhere, so that is your main residence even if rented or living with family. Everything else is a secondary home.

However if you were fully resident in France within last 12 months you may be able to claim something.

Only after that is the calculation done as to whether you also need to pay capital gains in France. When you sell the property in France the notaire will be able to advise you.

Have you owned the property for more than 30 years? If so you don’t pay capital gains in France, and after 22 years there is a sliding scale.

The slight complication is that after January you are no longer european, so everything will depend on the tax treaty between UK and France and not on common european agreements. There was a cross-EU agreement on exonerations…

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Usually it’s the buyer who pays these fees.

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I think you are confusing yourself about second homes. It is not about the number of houses you own. It might be clearer to ssy Primary residence and Secondary residence. Your primary residence is your main home where your life is based, be it rented or owned or shared or whatever, in your case you presumably have a rented home in the uk where you live. Any other property you use, whether owned or rented or whatever, is a secondary residence aka second home.
However it is not clear why you do not pay taxe d habitation. Is this house tenanted?

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Thank you for your response. You’re both correct, it is probably best that I consult a notaire. I appreciate you both taking the time to respond.

Does the notaire and the estate agent really not charge the seller a service fee? How odd. Learnt something new. Thank you.

That makes sense, thank you. The reason I don’t pay taxe d’habitation is because the property isn’t habitable.

If it’s uninhabitable then are you really likely to make enough of a gain to go over the threshold of needing to pay capital gains? I think it is something like £12,000 CGT free.

I’m almost certain that tax treatments and regime has nothing at all to do with Brexit and EU withdrawal…(and you are still a European …just denied EU citizenship 'cos of Brexiteer lies) . Taxation treatments etc is unconnected and unchanged.

Some of the tax treaties are way outside Brexit, but there are some french financial regulations that apply to european citizens and not to third country nationals. Same way we can no longer vote here as we are no longer european.

There was a very FUD-spreading article in the Figaro Immobilier yesterday or the day before warning about the possibility of Brit home owners having to pay social charges and capital gains taxes on second home sales after Jan 1st, 2021, but it was poorly researched and of even worse construction.
Capital gains tax is applied to second properties for people who are tax resident in France. If you are not tax resident in France, then whether or not capital gains tax is applicable depends on your tax residency country’s rules. The same for social contributions.

In any event, there is no special singling out of Brits in particular, any taxation rules that the French authorities might be inclined to apply fall under the general French tax rules for third country nationals, and any double taxation agreements signed between France and the country where you are tax resident.

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Accountingweb usually has accurate information

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Much better than the FUD in the Figaro article.

And …FUD. ??

Thank you, this is what I was looking for. Interesting information concerning landlords too.

I’m not sure. I haven’t been able to find information on a CGT threshold in France? I did read that a 15% reduction may be applied for necessary renovation work(s) made to the property, and CGT is reduced by 6% per year after six years of ownership.