So, following your dream French property purchase, what is the most important investment you should next contemplate? Learning French and, more importantly, learning the French system.
French Taxation – Working from Home
Language and cross-cultural communication may be important factors to consider. However, the ownership of French property entails responsibilities and liabilities which may bring you into a complex French administrative and legislative system demanding slightly more than general French linguistic ability. If the purchase of your gîte is for holiday let or to operate as a chambre d’hôte, therefore, a return on your investment, then the payment of French tax will be an important consideration. Additionally, if you aim is to live in France and to work from home, then you may be liable for annual Cotisation Foncière des Entreprises (CFE) as the use of your property will also be regarded as a form of business premises. French taxation is one of the complex systems to which you and your property purchase may become exposed depending on your aims.
Should your French property purchase be that of a quiet, quaint, countryside gîte with the installation of a fosse sceptic, then it will be important that your property complies with the frequently changing current standards. If you are in the process of your French property purchase and the fosse sceptic has not be updated to current standards, then you may wish to negotiate a discount on the sale price with the vendor. A fosse sceptic may cost 20,000 Euros or more, therefore, it may be worthwhile to renegotiate the sale price in light of a new fosse sceptic installation.
Property Maintenance and Renovation – Tax Credits
On the other hand, if your French property purchase is to be your home, then you may benefit from tax reductions on energy-saving improvements. The installation of new energy-saving windows, doors and shutters may attract tax credits in the renovation and maintenance of an older French property. Therefore, it may be worthwhile understanding the French taxation system and establishing the type of tax credits available for your property and when to carry out energy-saving works.
Before proceeding with your French property purchase, if it has a swimming-pool or extension, then ensure that the installations have approved planning and that they comply with planning requirements. And, it goes without saying, . . .
Always seek professional legal advice before signing any papers, no matter how strong the ‘Coup de Coeur’ may be!