Running a French Holiday Gite in Rural Brittany

Thursday, October 12, 2006

How to pay the Taxe D'Habitation and Taxes Foncieres

After last year's messup with paying my Taxes de Habitation that ended up in me being a tax defaulter by paying my 2006 bill but not my 2005 bill, I've been taking much more care over the arrangements for paying the Taxes Foncières (land tax) bill that arrived last month. Most of the bill I received is reasonably easy to understand but I used the same method of converting the document from French to English of scanning it, OCR'ing it then using Google's translation tool that I wrote about before to confirm that I've correctly understood the payment options.

So here's the various ways to pay the Taxe de Habitation and the Taxes Foncières:

1. Firstly like in the UK you're encouraged to pay the bill by electronic funds transfer rather than by cheque or cash. The easiest way is to go to, follow the link to Taxe Foncieres, then 'access the service for online payment of taxes' (Accédez au service en ligne de paiement des impôts), enter the 'numero fiscal' printed on the bill and you can then pay directly online by choosing the paiement en ligne option and then enter your French banking details (coordonnées bancaires). You benefit from an additional 5 days grace after the bill due date if you pay online, and the money is debited 10 days after the due date.

2. Second option is to setup an annual 'whole bill' direct debit (prélèvement annuel/à l'échéance). This can also be done online via (this time choosing prélèvement à l'échéance on the payment options), or it can be setup at your local treasury office (in my case it's the local mayor's office), or it can be done at the regional tax office by the end of the month preceding the bill due date.

3. Third option is to pay by TIP (Titre Interbancaire de Paiement) which is a sort of one-off standing order. On the bottom of the taxe bill is a detachable TIP slip. You simply sign and date it and send it in with a copy of your bank account details. Your French bank will supply copies of your bank account details on a pre-printed RIB (releve d'identite bancaire) form which you simply enclose with the signed and dated TIP.
My bank (La Poste) supplies RIB's in the back of the cheque book, or you can order them separately online, or you can download them to print yourself as a PDF file.
If you choose to pay by TIP (as I did last year) then next year it'll be even easier as the French tax office will then pre-print your bank details on the TIP and you simply have to sign, date and return the completed TIP back to the tax office.

4. Fourth option is to pay be cheque. Again detach the TIP form from the bill, but this time don't sign or date it. Complete and sign and date the cheque and send the completed cheque and blank TIP form back to the tax office.

5. Fifth option is to directly transfer funds from your bank account to the tax office - this seems to be mandatory for bills greater than €50,000 so isn't really an option for most of us.

6. Sixth option is to pay in cash at your treasury (mayor's office), maximum limit is €3,000 for this method of payment.

So having worked your way through all these ways of paying this years bill, there are a few additional options as to how to pay next year's bill.

a. One option is of course to wait and pay it manually the same as this year via one of the same payment routes as above.

b. Alternatively they're trying to encourage the setting up automatic electronic payment (le prelevement automatique). This can be by annual payment (prélèvement annuel) of the whole bill (which comes out of your account 10 days after the bill is due), or it can be by monthly payment (la mensualisation).
If you choose the monthly payment option then the money will be debited on the 15th of the month from January through to October. The key point is that the monthly option is to pay for next year's tax in advance rather than this year's tax - the mistake I made last year was to complete a mensualisation and not realise that I also had to pay for the current years bill.

Bank account details in France are more complex than the simple sortcode/account number we have in the UK, there are 4 different numbers that you have to quote to complete the coordonnées bancaires: the Code Banque (sometimes printed as Etablis, 5 digits), the Code Guichet (5 digits), the Numéro de Compte (11 digits and mine has an X in it as well), and finally the Clé RIB (2 digits). These digits are all printed on the RIB form as mentioned earlier.

After filling in your bank account details for an annual payment or a monthly payment option, the details you entered are repeated back on a bank account authorisation form (a authorisation de prelevement) which you have to print off (or have it emailed as a PDF which you can then print off), sign it, and return it to your bank (not the tax office).

I hope this helps to explain how to go about paying your Taxe Foncières/Habitation. I've just completed the prélèvement annuel option and hopefully I won't have any unexpected demands later in the year because I've not paid the bill properly.


  • Hi,
    Thank you for this great information, however when I go to pay an invoice dated 2013 (Oops) the system doesn't accept my 13 digit reference. I wonder if I have to process the payment differently if the payment is late. I've translated one of the pages and it says something like you have upto 5 days pass the deadline to pay.

    By Blogger Jennifer Eglinton, at July 29, 2014  

  • Hi Jennifer.

    You do have 5 days grace after the deadline to pay online, but if you are beyond this then perhaps the system does not accept payment? I'm not sure.

    I think the best option would be to send payment by cheque or TIP along with a letter to the tax office for your area of France, explaining that you have tried to pay online but the reference number is not accepted. You may find that they automatically charge a 10% surcharge for not having paid by the deadline but with your letter you may get them to waive this.

    I had trouble the year before last as I didn't have enough in my French bank account for the debit to clear so I then got surcharged. When I paid the original amount I still ended up being chased with increasingly strong letters from the tax office for the 10% surcharge so in the end decided it was easiest to just pay it.

    Good luck !


    By Blogger Geoffrey, at July 30, 2014  

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