2024 Taxes: After the swimming pool, the tax authorities will control the other two parts of your house

2024 Taxes: After the swimming pool, the tax authorities will control the other two parts of your house

From October 2021, Bercy has launched a new “Innovative Land” programme. Because to increase controls, administration is now aided by… technology. By having AI analyze data from aerial images of National Geographic Institute maps and public satellite images, then compare it with declarations made, tax authorities can detect discrepancies and send tax agents to investigate suspicious terrain.

A decisive process, if we believe its 2023 activity report published on June 11: DGFiP shows that its services were able to evict 140,000 undeclared swimming pools last year, and were thus able to collect 40 million additional euros in property taxes for local authorities.

Based on these results, Thomas Cazeneuve, the minister responsible for public accounts, announced on March 20 that he intends to strengthen the search for undeclared buildings. “We have started the work, and we will be able to deploy it in the next year,” he warned. The administration will now target garden sheds, garages or verandas.

What does the law say?

In France, the law imposes specific reporting obligations for the construction or alteration of property (verandah, garden shed, garage, etc.).

– If the floor area is less than 5 m², No prior declaration or building permit is required unless your municipality imposes specific regulations.

– If the floor area is between 5 m² and 20 m² (or 40 m² in urban areas covered by Local Town Planning Plan (PLU) or Town Planning Document in lieu thereof), Mandatory prior declaration of works. CERFA form n°13703*07 must be completed and submitted to the Town Hall.

– If the floor area is more than 20 m² (or 40 m² in urban areas covered by PLU), a building permit is mandatory. CERFA Form n°13406*07 must be completed and submitted to Town Hall.

Please note, in addition to these previous declarations and building permit applications, you must declare to the tax authorities the work carried out on your real estate during the previous year, in addition to the traditional income tax declaration.

How much is the tax for a conservatory or garden shed?

Construction of a veranda or garden shed will result in two separate payments: On the one hand, at the time of earlier declaration, you will have to pay development tax. On the other hand, the presence of a veranda or garden shed increases the cadastral rental value of the property, so expect to see an increase in your property tax amount.

Development tax applies to construction, reconstruction and extension works of buildings and installations that require planning permission (ie garden sheds and verandas of more than 5 m²). It is calculated according to the taxable surface area of ​​the construction (sometimes separate from the total surface area) and a fixed value per square meter, multiplied by the rates set by the local authorities.

The taxable area is the sum of the floor area (enclosed and covered) with a ceiling height of more than 1.80 m.

For 2024, the flat rate value is 886 euros per square meter in Ile-de-France and 820 euros per square meter in other regions.

The development tax rate consists of a municipal or inter-municipal component and a departmental component. Generally, the municipal rate varies between 1% and 5%, while the sectional rate is usually set at 1.5%. There may also be a regional share at 1% for Ile-de-France. To find out the rate that applies to you, contact your town hall.

Calculation example

If you are building a verandah of 20 m² in south-west, and the applicable rates in your municipality are 3% for municipal share and 1.5% for sectional share, the calculation is as follows:

  • Taxable area: 20 m² Flat rate value: €820/m² Municipal share: 20 m² x €820 x 3% = €492 Departmental share: 20 m² x €820 x 1.5% = €246
    Total development tax: €492 + €246 = €738

Certain constructions may benefit from partial or full exemption or reduction. This is especially the case for garden sheds less than 5 m², temporary structures (less than 3 months) or reconstruction after disasters.

What are the dangers of not exposing your garden shed or veranda?

In case of inspection, the consequences of not declaring a garden shed or veranda can be administrative, financial and legal.

At the administrative level, the authorities may ask you to regularize your status by submitting a pre-declaration of works or a building permit on a case-by-case basis. Then you will need to provide all the necessary documents to get the building permission. If the work is already in progress, the town hall can order it to stop immediately until the situation is regularized.

At the judicial level, the Town Hall can initiate legal proceedings for violations of the Town Planning Code. You may be summoned to a criminal court for operating without authorization. In case of conviction, the court may order the demolition of the undeclared work and restoration of the premises. This measure is often applied when construction damages the environment or respects town planning regulations.

On a financial level, according to article L480-4 of the Town Planning Code, you risk fines ranging from 1,200 euros to 6,000 euros per square meter of undeclared construction area. The amount of fine is determined by the criminal court depending on the gravity of the offense and the circumstances. You will also be liable for development tax calculated on the basis of undeclared surface area. In addition to these fees, late payment penalties may apply.

There may also be consequences on the resale of your property: the notary will systematically check the compatibility of the constructions. An undisclosed verandah or garden shed can delay or complicate the sale or reduce the value of the property. A property buyer can also take action against you for latent defects if non-disclosure causes problems after the purchase, which can lead to claims for damages due to the property not being in your possession for long.

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