THERE are three local taxes based on property: a land tax or tax on unimproved land, property tax or tax on improved land and housing tax.
Property taxes are enacted at the national level but property identification is done by municipalities or councils.
The costs of collection are high and are estimated to occupy a quarter of the Ministry of Finance's tax division. Despite this, the amount collected represents only about 4pc of the total taxes collected in France.
Property owners are liable for the property tax. Land owners are liable for the land tax and occupants are liable for the housing tax.
If the property owner is living in the house, then the owner is liable for property tax and housing tax.
Property owners are recorded in a deeds register used by the tax officials but information is not always up to date. This sometimes leads to confusion. Tax collection is fully computerised.
Taxes on the tax forms are pre-calculated and the taxpayer simply checks the amount and pays it. The taxpayer can choose to pay the taxes by annual or by monthly installments. Collection levels are about 90pc.
Taxpayers must provide tax authorities with information on physical changes to their property.
Taxpayers may appeal an assessment of their property and the tax payable within two months of receiving the tax notice.
The first stage of the appeal procedure is informal. If the parties have not come to an agreement, the next stage would be the court.