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Yesterday it was confirmed by the European Court of Justice that charges imposed by the French government on foreigners who sold or rented out houses from 2012 is illegal!

Things are looking up for the British when it comes to the French property market at the moment. Not only is the pound the strongest it’s ever been against the Euro, meaning you get more for your money on the continent, but yesterday saw a ruling by the European Court of Justice that deemed it ‘illegal’ for the French government to charge foreign home owners social charges from renting or selling their properties as they had been doing since 2012!

This ruling came as it was deemed unlawful to charge a resident of a member state of the EU a social levy more than once. Meaning the French government is now liable for thousands of claims from EU non-resident owners who sold or rented their properties over the last three years – which could result in tens of millions in reimbursements.

Francois Holland’s government had introduced the 15.5% social charge on capital tax as they felt non-EU residents were at an unfair advantage compared to French nationals.
The tax on foreign home owners had a negative impact on the French property market, rather than the positive one the government were hoping for,” comments David King, Head of Winkworth’s International department. “Home owners were reluctant to sell which stagnated the market, which in turn meant that there were fewer properties to attract buyers. This ruling by the EU court is a welcome one and I’m sure we will see more properties for sale in the upcoming months and more deals being done.

So, if you have sold or rented you property in France over the last three years you may be entitled to claim your money back. It would be best to speak to a tax adviser to review your case and see if this ruling could benefit you.
Now things are looking up in France, it’s the perfect opportunity to buy your own home abroad. Whether it’s the lure of an active outdoor lifestyle in the Alps, the chic streets of Paris or the relaxing Mediterranean coast, France has something for everyone. Click here for our pick of the top 10 properties currently for sale just a hop across The Channel, like this one below.

Mas Blanc les Apilles1