Tag Archives: france

French stamp duty increased by 0.71%

French stamp duty increase March 2014Buying a property in France? Then it’s worth being aware that French stamp duty, or taxe de publicité foncière, increased by almost 1% on 1 March. Find out more about the change and which regions have opted out.

The increase of 0.71% is applied to the sale price of all completed purchases (actes authentiques) that take place from 1 March 2014. The rise only affects properties built at least five years ago (a lower rate applies to newer properties, which hasn’t been changed).

A temporary rise?

The extra money generated from the increase will be going to local councils, forming an important part of their budgets and compensating for reduced government grants.

It’s expected to be a temporary rise until at least February 2016, however it could be made permanent.

How stamp duty is calculated in France

When buying a property in France, the total cost owed is based on the purchase price and includes tax (national and local), costs and notary fees.

The amount owed in tax and fees is applied on a sliding scale with the more expensive properties paying a lower percentage.

For example, if you buy a property that costs €90,000 you pay 9.07% of the price in tax and fees (approximately €8,170). A €450,000 property attracts a bill of €33,000 (7.33%).

Stamp duty changes from 1 March

This table provides a rough estimate of the frais de notaire that you could expect to pay when buying a French property (source: Barème Langloÿs).

sale price Fee Stamp duty Percentage
€60,000 €2,250 €3,840 10.15%
€90,000 €2,530 €5,640 9.07%
€120,000 €2,800 €7,340 8.52%
€150,000 €3,080 €9,220 8.20%
€230,000 €3,820 €14,000 7.74%
€300,000 €4,470 €18,180 7.55%
€380,000 €5,210 €22,960 7.41%
€450,000 €5,860 €27,140 7.33%
€600,000 €7,240 €36,090 7.22%

Not a nationwide increase

Some regions of France have decided not to apply the increase:

  • Côte d’Or
  • Isère
  • Mayenne
  • Morbihan
  • Paris
  • Val d’Oise
  • Vienne
  • Yvelines

What to do?

If you’re buying a new property, contact your appointed notary (notaire) for the exact amount you’ll owe.

Published: 28 April 2014

French school holidays 2014 & 2015

School holiday dates 2014 & 2015Booking a family holiday? If you’re based in France, then take a look at the French school holiday dates for 2014 and 2015 to see when the children will be free.

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French school holidays 2014

Spring holidays (Easter) Sat 26 April 2014 – Sun 11 May 2014
Long Ascension weekend Thu 28 May 2014 – Sun 1 June 2014
Summer holidays Sat 5 July 2014 – Mon 1 September 2014
Touissant (autumn half term) Sat 18 October 2014 – Sun 2 November 2014
Christmas and New Year holidays Sat 20 December 2014 – Sun 4 January 2015

French school holidays 2015

Winter holidays Sat 7 February 2015 – Sun 22 February 2015
Spring holidays (Easter) Sat 11 April 2015 – Sun 26 April 2015
Long Ascension weekend Thu 14 May 2015 – Sun 17 May 2015
Summer holidays Begin on Sat 4 July 2015

Please note: these school holiday dates are for schools within Zone A (Auvergne, Brittanny, Languedoc-Roussillon, Lorraine, Lower Normandy, Midi-Pyrenees, Pays de la Loire and Rhone-Alpes) and will vary for other regions of France. Also see the school holiday dates for England, Wales and Scotland.

Published: 23 April 2014

France: changes to Chambre d’Hôte regulations

Regulations for B&Bs in FranceRunning a B&B in France? The French government has recently redefined what they class as a chambre d’hôte (bed and breakfast) under the Chambre d’Hôte regulations. Depending on how you run your B&B, it may mean that you need to apply for hotel status.

What is a ‘chambre d’hôte’?

You need to comply with the regulations if your lodging:

  • Is a B&B in France, i.e. providing overnight accommodation plus breakfast
  • Is in your own home, i.e. the house you live in – your permanent residence (this is the recent change)
  • Has no more than five bedrooms for 15 people

If you’re running a B&B that’s not in your own home and/or has more than five bedrooms for 15 people, you’ll need to apply for hotel status instead.

How to comply with the regulations

Changes to Chambre d'Hôte regulations

Here’s what you need to do if you run a chambre d’hôte:

  • Provide at least three services, e.g. breakfast, cleaning, linen changing and reception
  • Each bedroom must have direct or indirect access to a bathroom and toilet
  • Bedrooms and bathrooms must be cleaned on a daily basis
  • Prices for your B&B must be displayed outside the building, in the reception area and in each room.
  • You need to conform with safety and hygiene regulations – your local chamber of commerce can give you details about what these are
  • You must have adequate building and household insurance

How to register your French B&B

First of all, inform your town council (mairie) about your chambre d’hôte business. Who you need to register with depends on how you run your business:

  • If your B&B is your main business activity, you must register with the Registre du Commerce y des Sociétés (RCS) – you can do this via your local chamber of commerce
  • If it’s an additional business to one already registered with the RCS, you don’t need to register your chambre d’hôte
  • If you run your business on a self-employed basis, you need to register with the URSAFF social security agency

Social security and tax payments

If you’re registered as self-employed you must pay 12.2% of your turnover in tax.

If you’re not self-employed the rate you pay depends on your turnover (2014 figures):

  • Under €4,881: you don’t need to register or pay social security payments, although you must pay CSG/CRDS social tax at 15.5% on your net income.
  • Over €4,881: you pay 46% of your net income. But if you’re registered as a small company (micro entreprise) then you qualify for a fixed cost allowance of 71%, so in practice you don’t need to make social security payments until your turnover reaches €16,831.

Do I need to pay VAT?

If your annual turnover is less than €82,200 you have no VAT obligations. If it’s higher then you’re liable for 10% VAT as long as you provide at least three services listed above in the Chambre d’Hôte regulations.

What about local business rates?

Whether there are any other business rates to pay depends on your local council – contact them to find out.

Additional rates may include:

  • Business rates (most councils don’t charge them for chambres d’hôtes)
  • Taxe d’habitation (not all councils charge this)

Please note: this information is intended as a guide only and should not be used to take fiscal decisions. We strongly recommend consulting an expert for advice that’s best suited to your chambre d’hôte lodging.

Published: 26 March 2014

New low-cost ferry to France and Spain

New low-cost ferry to France and Spain‘No-frills’ ferry travel has finally arrived on Brittany Ferries who are now running a low-cost ferry service to France and Spain from the UK.

The new économie service begins on 24 March and comes as a welcome option for both travellers holidaying in mainland Europe and owners of holiday lets visiting their properties.

Costs and journey times

Running between Portsmouth and Le Havre or Santander, the ferry service is 20-25% cheaper than the company’s standard crossings:

  • France: the Portsmouth-Le Havre service runs five times each week and is from £79 (journey time 5hrs 30 mins)
  • Spain: the Portsmouth-Santander service sails at weekends only and is from £169 (journey time around 26 hrs)

Prices quoted are for a one-way économie ticket for two people plus a car.

What you get

Although the Etretat ferry serving the low-cost routes is smaller than the usual ships, it still offers:

  • Deck and lounge areas (with limited reserved seats)
  • En-suite cabins
  • Movie lounge
  • Self-service restaurant
  • Small duty-free shop

What don’t you get

Don’t expect the cruise-style experience you’d usually find with Brittany Ferries:

  • No carpets and tea and coffee making facilities in the cabins
  • No entertainment facilities, specifically for children
  • No cash machines or currency exchange facilities

The smaller size of the no-frills ferries means that accessibility is limited. Check with Brittany Ferries before you book to ensure your mobility needs are catered for.

How do I book?

Visit www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/economie to find out more and book your crossing.

Published: 19 March 2014

Marketing your holiday let around French public holidays

Market your place as a treat for French travellersWith around 10 public holidays in France each year, there are many peak times when French travellers are looking for a short break or long weekend away.

Arranging your calendar around the French public holidays will widen the appeal of your holiday let (read on to find out more). And if you have a place in France, you can even encourage guests to come and be part of the festivities.

When you advertise with Holiday Lettings, your listing will be translated into French and seen by thousands more travellers on www.tripadvisor.fr. It’s well worth taking the time to market your place to guests in other countries – also see our advice for the Spanish public holidays.

French public holidays in 2014-15

  • Monday 21 April: Easter Monday - Lundi de Pâques
  • Thursday 1 May: Labour Day – Fête du Travail
  • Thursday 8 May: VE Day – Fête de la Victoire 1945
  • Thursday 29 May: Ascension Day – Ascension
  • Monday 9 June: Whit Monday – Lundi de Pentecôte
  • Monday 14 July: Bastille Day – Fête Nationale
  • Friday 15 August: Assumption Day – Assomption
  • Saturday 1 November: All Saints’ Day – Toussaint
  • Tuesday 11 November: Armistice Day – Armistice 1918
  • Thursday 25 December: Christmas Day – Noël
  • Wednesday 1 January: New Year’s Day – Jour de l’An

Public holiday marketing tips

Here are a few ideas on how you can use French public holidays to bring in more bookings for your holiday let:

  • Add public holiday dates to your prices so travellers can easily find and book the correct dates. Go to Properties > Prices in your account.
  • Create price periods around the holiday dates – travellers can then see at a glance what you’re charging for the period around a public holiday. For example, for French Labour Day, list a rate for the long weekend from Thursday 1 May to Sunday 4 May.

Published: 14 March 2014

Update to capital gains tax in France

Get up to date with capital gains tax

Thinking about selling your French holiday home? If so, make sure you’re up to date with the new capital gains tax rules first.

From this autumn, the tax is being applied to property sales of second homes in France unless you’ve owned your place for 22 years or more (reduced from 30 years).

There’s no change to the period of exemption from social charges – if you’ve owned your second home for 30 years, social charges don’t apply.

Supplementary capital gains tax, meanwhile, will continue to apply on gains over €50,000 (£41,943).

But if you sell your French property before 31 August 2014, you’ll qualify for a 25% discount on capital gains tax, social charges and supplementary capital gains tax.

Head to French-Property.com to read the full article and see a useful sample calculation of the charges.

The content of this blog is intended only to provide a summary of matters of interest. It is not intended to be legal advice.

Eurostar: plans for a direct train to the south of France

Permanent Eurostar to Provence and Avignon planned for 2015After a successful trial this year, a Eurostar train service between London, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence could be introduced permanently by 2015. If it goes through, the new service will help attract more guests to your Provençal holiday home.

6hrs to the south of France                                      

Eurostar’s new Route du Soleil service promises speedy train travel from London to the south of France in less than six hours. The route proved popular with tourists this season when it ran at 90% capacity during the spring and summer months.

The trials will continue until 2015 when, if all goes well, the new route will be made permanent.


Published: 30 September 2013



French stamp duty rise for January 2014

Property Stamp Duty UK

Planning on buying a property in France? If you can, buy before the end of this year to avoid the stamp duty rise of almost 15%.

This summer the French government announced that on 1 January 2014 the stamp duty rate (droits de mutation) will increase from the current 5.09% to 5.80%. The increase is said to ‘plug a financial hole that is appearing in the accounts of many departmental councils’.

As an example, if you’re buying a €250,000 property in France on or after 1 January, you’ll pay an extra €1,792 in stamp duty (€14,517 rather than €12,752).

This rise in stamp duty, plus the additional fees to pay of 1-2% of the property’s sale price, will make the extra costs associated with buying French holiday homes some of the most expensive in Europe.

Go to French-Property.com to see a breakdown of the current fees and taxes when buying properties in France.

Published: 26 September 2013

The sunniest spots in France

Sunny spots in FranceJun 11, 2013

Does your French holiday home get a lot of sun? See whether your location is in the top 20 sunniest spots in the country according to a Météo France list based on weather over 2011.

The big hitters are departments on the Cote d’Azur, but the regions of Languedoc-Roussillon, Midi-Pyrénées and the Rhône-Alpes also feature.

The Bouches-du-Rhône held on to its long-cherished number one spot, racking up 2,801 hours of sunshine in 2011.

These figures are a general guide as many French departments vary in size and have different climate zones within them. Check out the full chart on www.french-property.com