The ‘taxe de séjour‘. You may have noticed this itemised amount at the bottom of your holiday rental or hotel bill when visiting France.
What is it? How much is it? Who pays it? To whom? What is it used for? Does it impact on rental property owners?
This FAQ answers all of the above questions, and more. Then, our guide ensures that owners of French rental properties can confidently fulfil their legal responsibility to collect, declare and pay the tourist tax, on behalf of their paying guests.
The taxe de séjour has undergone an overhaul over the last several years. The information below is based on the French government guidelines issued in June 2021.
Introduction to the Taxe de Séjour
What is the Taxe de Séjour?
The “Taxe de Séjour” is a tourist or visitor tax payable by adult visitors to France.
The tax is paid by guests paying to stay in holiday rentals or hotels in France.
Who collects it and who receives the money?
Owners of rental properties are responsible for collecting the tax, and for paying it on to the commune where the rental property is situated.
What is it used for?
The tax helps local communes finance advertising, marketing, events, and initiatives to develop tourism.
Do all guests have to pay Taxe de Séjour?
It varies depending on the commune. Generally speaking, the tax is payable per night, by all visitors over the age of 18.
Are there any exceptions?
Yes, there are. As far as self-catered rental properties are concerned, a few communes don’t charge any tourist tax. Some communes set different age limits – normally the tax is paid by over 18’s.
How much is the Taxe de séjour?
- As each local commune is responsible for setting the tourist tax, amounts can vary.
- Generally a capped sliding scale applies – the higher the official classification / star rating of the property, the higher the tax. Rates range between €0.20 to €4.20 per person per night *1.
- Some communes charge a flat rate.
- Other communes don’t charge a tourist tax.
How much Taxe de Séjour should I ask for?
- Owners are legally obliged to register their property rental business with the local Mayor’s Office. Once registered, the correct tariff is allocated.
- The official classification / star rating influences the amount of tourist tax due, even if the property is not classified, or awaiting classification.
- Unclassified properties often attract the most expensive rate.
- Owners of rental properties should be aware there are significant tax, and other benefits, once officially classified. Your French accountant will have more details.
- For an overview of the process and benefits for rental property owners, see our interview with a classification agency below.
Informing guests about the Taxe de Séjour
How do guests know how much they have to pay?
- Once owners know their tourist tax rate, it should be clearly stated online, in adverts, and displayed in the property itself.
- Invoices must also clearly mention the amount of tourist tax due.
- Guests can find out the tax amount due from the local Mayor’s office.
Who is legally responsible for collecting the money?
- Owners are responsible for collecting the tourist tax.
How do owners generally collect the Tourist Tax?
- The tax can be included in the price of the holiday, and paid online, in advance of arrival.
- Owner managers and property management agencies may collect the tourist tax on arrival.
- Airbnb collect the tourist tax at the time of booking, then pay the taxes directly to the local Mayor’s office, on behalf of rental property owners.
What if the group size varies from day to day? Or if one guest is unable to travel?
In order for the correct amount of tax to be calculated and paid online, in advance, booking details and contracts must correlate. Therefore, any necessary amendments must be made before the balance payment is requested from guests.
Where guests pay on arrival, adjustments to payments due can be made by owner-managers or agencies directly with guests in-resort.
Once guests have departed…
Declaring the Taxe de Séjour
- More than 15,000 communes across the French Alps are affiliated with taxesejour.fr, for the declaration and payment of tourist taxes.
- Other communes may use alternative software platforms, or paper accounting.
- Owners are sent monthly email reminders to submit their declaration from taxesejour.fr, even if the amount to declare is zero. *2
- Declaration frequency and deadlines vary from platform to platform, commune to commune.
- Look online or contact your local Mayor’s office for information specific to your commune and rental property.
Paying the Taxe de Séjour
- Payments are generally made twice per year.
- Owners generally receive notifications when the payment is due.
- Your local commune will confirm their payment schedule and deadlines.
Can I pay my bill online?
Many communes have online payment platforms set up, others don’t. Contact your local Mayor’s office to find out whether online payments are possible.
- For a useful source from the French Government Website, click here.
- The OVO Network Taxe de séjour report corresponds to the declaration forms of taxesejour.fr used by most Mayor’s offices. Owners are clearly and quickly able to see which information goes where on the declaration form, and how much money is due, per month, and per payment period.
- For the latest government information relating to the taxe de séjour please click here (in French only).
We hope that this FAQ is informative, and enables you to find the information relevant to your rental property and local commune.
If you are interested to find out more about the evolution of the Taxe de Séjour take a look at previous posts on this subject below. Please note some of the original information included may be out of date and/or no longer relevant.
Taxe de séjour: What’s new for 2019? (December 2018).