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An annual business tax (taxe professionnelle) is generally levied annually on every business carrying on a commercial, industrial or professional activity in France. Non-residents carrying on a business in France are subject to the tax. A total or partial exemption may be granted to certain companies that create new enterprises, engage in research or centralise their activities.
The locally determined rate is levied on the following:
- The deemed rental value of immovable property, fixed by the tax authorities.
- For most companies, 18% of the amount of gross salaries.
- Other assets valued at 16% of their cost. If rented, the assets are valued at the rental amount, provided that amount is not lower than 80% or greater than 120% of their cost multiplied by 16%.
Minimums apply, and the tax may be limited to a percentage of turnover.
Businesses are exempt from this tax in their first year of operations. In the two following years, the tax is based on assets, salaries, rents and deemed rental value as of 31 December of the year in which activities were begun. For the second year of operations, the basis is reduced by 50%.
The owner of a developed parcel of land is assessed real property tax on 1 January each year. The official value is determined annually, and 50% of this value is taxed at the applicable rate.
Foreign companies may also, and in addition, be subject to tax on real property (see Indirect Taxes, Tax on Real Property).
Any individual using a furnished dwelling is liable for the residence tax, whether the individual merely rents the dwelling or actually owns it. The tax is calculated by applying the local rate to the annual rental value as indicated in the land records. The amount of tax is usually between 5% and 15% of the actual rental value of the residence.
The owner-occupant of an apartment is liable for both the tax on developed real property and the residence tax.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances. For additional information contact Pierre Knoepfler on +33 (1) 46 93 70 00.
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