WHETHER BUYING, SELLING OR RENTING
If you own property here in France and derive rental income through it, it’s necessary to file a Tax Declaration for a non-resident. The law says to file, and it is especially necessary if the funds are deposited in his French bank account. If the property is financed, there may be no tax to pay. Interest and expenses are fully deductible.
VINGT Paris would strongly advise you to file and if you would like us to recommend a Tax specialist you can put your house in order with them now and avoid excess preparation time accumulating at a later stage.
Renting out an apartment or house in France always generates French income that is taxable in France. This is true even if the owner and tenant are American or UK/EIRE residents, and the payment is made in dollars in the U.S or Sterling etc. Now, one may ask, “how would the French tax inspector know that the place is rented to start with?” Just keep in mind that there are in fact tell-tale signs, such as the Taxe d’Habitation applying to a secondary residence, the electrical meter in the owner’s name and high electricity consumption most of the year – not to mention the Gardien(ne) who figures out the situation within a couple of months after the rental business has started.
Believing you are safe from tax inspectors because you have never had a problem gives you a false sense of security. Once tax cheating has been identified, the French tax inspectors tend to wait until it has been going on for three years before striking. This is because three years is the time period for the statute of limitations and they want to make the audit worthwhile.
Disclaimer: Tax law is complex and every effort has been made to offer information that is current, correct and clearly expressed. The information in this summary is intended to be no more than a general overview of the position and certain details have been deliberately omitted. The contents of this page should not be taken as an authoritative statement of French tax law and practice. Neither the author nor the publisher are responsible for the results of actions taken on the basis of information contained in this summary, nor for any errors or omissions. This text is not intended to render legal, accounting or tax advice. Readers are encouraged to seek professional advice concerning specific matters before making any decision.