It appears the new mandatory tax form for property owners is causing headaches for homeowners… and the French authorities.
The Direction Générale des Finances Publiques (DGFiP) helplines have been “saturated” by people asking questions about it.
Damien Robinet, national secretary of Solidaires finances publiques union, told Capital there were a “huge number of questions coming in from users”.
In the Loir-et-Cher department there are 2,000 online messages about the form that still have to be answered, added a union source.
But DGFiP has denied the proportion of calls about the form - which has to be submitted by June 30, 2023 - is anything unusual.
The Connexion spoke to Frederic Lecot, a member of the Solidaires finances publiques union, who confirmed what colleague Mr Robinet told Capital.
“The e-contact system is necessary for users to ask questions… but it is difficult to calibrate it with other tasks. It interrupts the workflow, and there’s no time [dedicated to it]” he said.
One of the reasons so many online demands are being made is that the information given on forms is sometimes outdated.
For some people, the form is simply a case of confirming the information already held by the tax services, but if the information stated is incorrect, they can ask a question by clicking the J’ai une question sur le descriptive de mon bien immobilier button.
“We have a lot of questions about [the] information [listed for properties] that is no longer up to date,” said Frédéric Scalbert, union member of the CGT Finances publiques branch, told Capital.
Information held on properties that homeowners believe to be wrong – such as the size in m² of the property, or the omission of an addition such as a swimming pool or garage – is based on data from many different administrative departments that are lagging due to labour shortages, unions added.
In some cases, such as for the land registry service, information updates are months behind schedule, leading many homeowners to have incorrect information listed for their properties, forcing them to submit an online e-contact message.
All of this is leading to worries from the union about the feasibility of responding to all the demands in time.
“As there is a huge backlog, we will not be able to respond to everyone by June 30,” warned Mr Robinet.
Read more: Declaring French property: exemptions, rents, joint owners, commercial
Why so many questions? What are the most common?
Aside from the huge volume of people who need to fill in the form – remember, everyone (main and second-home owners) who owns a property in France needs to complete it – the fact that it is new and unfamiliar only adds to its capacity to confuse.
The form can also only be completed digitally or over the phone, with no paper version available, causing frustration for those who live in areas with a poor internet connection or who lack online skills.
For some, the form will be as simple as confirming the information already held, and will only take a few minutes.
In many cases, however, there will be more information to give, or information may not be up-to-date, and users will have to manually make adjustments to the information.
On top of this, some of the information given is not as straightforward as it first appears, which could lead you to think there is a discrepancy when in fact the information is correct.
For example, the size of the property is measured using the ‘surface réelle’, meaning it is bigger than the m² listed on estate agent advertisements, which may be what you are familiar with for your house.
The Connexion has written several articles about the form, which you can find here:
- An in-depth look at the form, detailing how you can ask questions if necessary
- An article for second-home owners and their relation to the form
- And finally, we have a list of commonly asked questions by our readers about the declaration.
A basic, step-by-step guide to filling out the form
This is a guide to help you complete the form online.
If you are calling from France, it is possible to complete the form via telephone by contacting 0809 401 401.
For those who prefer to complete the declaration digitally, or who are currently outside of France and are unable to telephone, follow the steps below to complete the form.
Step one: Go to https://www.impots.gouv.fr/accueil, and click on “votre espace particulier”. If you are the owner of a property under an SCI, you need to click on “votre espace professional” and then “Démarches”, then the “Gérer mes biens immobiliers”.
Step two: Log into the space using your numéro fiscal and password. If you do not have a numéro fiscal, read our guide here about how to get one.
Step three: Click on the “biens immobiliers” section.
Step four: From here, you should be able to access the property information the tax authorities have on all of the properties you own. Click the "consult" button to see what information they hold on you.
Step five: To begin the declaration, click "déclaration d'occupation". If the information that appears is correct, you choose "aucun changement". You then double-check the information before clicking "valider et transmettre".
If you need to go back, hit the "précédent" button.
If everything is correct and you have clicked “valider et transmettre”, then you have completed the form for this property and nothing else needs to be done.
Step six: If you need to declare new details or change existing ones, choose “déclarer”.
Step seven: You are then taken through a series of screens. What you see will depend on your individual situation but could include the registered owners of the property; the occupants (whether it is occupied as a primary residence, occupied as a second home, vacant, occupé à titre gratuit or rented); and details of the occupants (name, date of birth etc).
Make the necessary changes where required, or use the prompt to submit a question to the tax authorities.
Once you are happy with the submission, you can choose "valider et transmettre".
After this, the form is completed, and you will not have to give any further information.
Do you have any unanswered questions about the tax form? Have you been able to complete it without any problems? Did you need to ask a question, and was it responded to promptly? Please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org
Tax declaration forms are on their way to some French homes