Expats win argument in France



A consortium of expats in France has succeeded in convincing Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, to abandon his plans to introduce a new form of property tax.

President Sarkozy’s controversial plans involved a tax being forced upon second home owners who did not permanently rent out their homes when not in the country. This law would potentially have affected thousands of expats who own property in France but do not spend all their time in said properties.

The plans were approved by French Parliament and were set to come into effect on 1 January 2012. The tax claimed would have equalled 20 percent of the funds that could hypothetically have been claimed from renting the property out. This tax would only have applied to French non-residents.

However, a group of expats decided to challenge the President over the tax. With the aid of French senators, the group were represented in a meeting with President Sarkozy himself and Francois Baroin, the French budget minister.

Following the meetings a conclusion to scrap the tax was reached.

A representative of the UK Council for French Abroad, Olivier Cadic, said: “It is contrary to the notion of equality that is written in to the French constitution, namely that this tax would create a special group who would be taxed. I am very happy with the decision, which will be a huge relief to non-residents with a second home in France.”