French second-home tax errors: How to know if overpaid and what to do

Amount of taxe d’habitation wrongly collected is said to have doubled last year. Refund requests can be made

Refund requests can be made online

It is important to double check your taxe d’habitation (one of the property taxes levied on second homes in France) bills for this year and last year as you may be in line for a refund.

An incoming report by a cross-party group of MPs is reported to state that an extra €724 million of taxe d’habitation was incorrectly collected for the 2023 year, more than double that of the year before. 

Read more: Tax bill errors double in 2023 for French second homes

The introduction last year of the biens immobiliers property owners’ declaration form – which some people may need to complete this year – is thought to be the main cause of the increase in errors.

This is why you should check to see if you paid too much tax. If this is the case, officials are required to give you a refund of the amount overpaid.

How can I check if I paid the correct amount? 

The tax itself is calculated using a number of different parameters and can be complex. 

The tax services state on its website that it is “not possible to simulate [property taxes] yourself, as these are calculated on the basis of numerous criteria linked in particular to the nature of the property being taxed.” 

Homeowners, however, are able to check their avis (bill) for the tax, which is given to them each year after the calculations are made. 

If your avis issued in autumn 2023 for that year’s tax showed a very different amount from what you paid in 2022, you may wish to contact your local tax department to query your payment. 

This is why it is important to keep old documents as you can then compare previously paid amounts. Note, however, if you have an account at you can find previous year’s avis under Documents

Read more: How long do I need to keep old French documents?

As a general rule, however, the main reasons your taxe d’habitation could, correctly, have gone up are:

  • If you built an extension or new facility such as a swimming pool, and notified this to the tax office; in which case the theoretical annual rental value used to work out the tax may have gone up (note that these also increased across the board by 7.1% linked to inflation, compared to 2022) 

  • If your mairie last year voted to increase the percentage rate it applies to this

On your avis for the taxe d’habitation, the value assigned to your property is listed as base, and the rate of the commune is shown as the taux. You can compare these with the previous year to see if there are significant changes.

If you think you were overcharged, or if you realise that you have, in error, paid a taxe d’habitation bill on a property on which it should not have been levied at all - eg. because it was your main home at the time - then you should contact your tax office. 

How can I request a refund?

You find your local office on the French tax website, in the ‘Contact et RDV’ section. Type in your address to find the correct point of contact. 

You can also contact your tax office by means of a private message through your online account on the site.

This is done through your personal space on the French tax site, using Nous contacter and then Ma messagerie sécurisée

From here, you can send a message to the authorities detailing the mistake that you believe has been made, attaching supporting evidence if relevant (information on calculations, previous bills, etc). 

Click on Je signale une erreur sur le calcul de mon impôt as the reason for your message.

Alternatively, you can send a handwritten letter including your name, address, signature, the tax being contested and reasons for contesting or go in person to make a claim.

It is important to note that when contesting tax demands, while you may eventually receive a refund, you still have to pay outstanding amounts until this is approved. 

It is possible to request a deferment of the payment of any tax being questioned until a dispute is resolved, but must make it clear you are asking to do this in your request.