Starting Out

A guide to the taxe de séjour in 2023

If you’ve ever booked a holiday rental or stayed in a French hotel, you’ve probably noticed an item on your bill labelled “taxe de séjour.” You might have wondered what it is, how much it costs, who pays it and what purpose it serves. And if you’re a rental property owner in France, you might be asking yourself how this tax affects you and your guests.

In this guide, we aim to unravel the intricacies of the taxe de séjour, answering all your burning questions. From understanding its purpose to knowing the exact amounts and who shoulders the responsibility, we’ve got you covered.

Whether you’re a traveller seeking clarity or a property owner looking to stay compliant with the law, read on as we shed light on the taxe de séjour in France.

(The information here is a general guide only, which does not take into account your personal circumstances, is not intended to be tax advice and should not be relied upon as such. If you have any questions about taxes, we suggest that you consult your tax adviser or local tax authorities. Please contact us if you would like the contact details of a tax adviser who specialises in the vacation rental industry. Please note that we do not update this information in real-time, so you should check and confirm if the laws, tax rates or procedures have changed recently.)

Everything you need to know about the taxe de séjour

What is the taxe de séjour?

The “taxe de séjour” is a tourist tax payable by guests staying in holiday rentals or hotels in France. It applies to hotels, holiday rentals, campgrounds, marinas, holiday villages and guest rooms. Ultimately, anywhere that hosts paying guests.

Who collects it and who receives the money?

Accommodation providers are responsible for collecting the taxe de séjour.

In some cases, guests are required to pay it at the time of booking. However, other owners or providers may choose to collect it when guests arrive.

Do note that the responsibility for remitting this tax to the appropriate authorities falls on the property owner or manager. Owners are responsible for ensuring that the correct amount is calculated and collected according to local regulations.

A woman types on a macbook
Photo by Daniel Thomas

What is it used for?

The funds generated from the taxe de séjour are primarily allocated to local tourism initiatives and infrastructure projects. These can include maintaining/improving tourist facilities, promoting attractions, and supporting cultural events that enhance visitors’ experiences in the region.

Do all guests have to pay the taxe de séjour?

In most cases, all adult guests staying in the accommodation are required to pay the taxe de séjour. However, there are exceptions. Children under the age of 18 are often exempt, as well as those in emergency accommodation or temporary housing, plus seasonal workers.

How much does it cost?

As each local commune is responsible for setting the tourist tax, amounts can vary. A capped scale usually applies and the higher the official classification (star rating) of the property, the higher the tax. Similarly, unclassified properties can sometimes be subject to the most expensive rates.

Generally speaking, rates range between 0.20€ to 4.20€ per person per night. But, to know the exact rate applicable to your accommodation, you need to refer to your local tourism office. Owners are legally obliged to register their property rental business with the local mairie (mayor’s office), after which the correct tariff is allocated.

You can find the exact rates for your local area on this website.

Euro notes inside an envelope
Photo by Markus Spiske

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;
  • On invoices;
  • Within the property itself.

 Guests can also verify the amount of tax due by checking with the local mayor’s office.

What if the group size varies throughout the stay?

In order for the correct amount of tax to be calculated and collected, booking details and contracts must correlate. Therefore, any necessary amendments must be made before the balance payment is requested from guests.

In the case that guests pay on arrival, adjustments to payments can be made by managers or agencies directly with guests in-resort.

Declaring and paying the taxe de séjour

More than 15,000 communes across France are affiliated with which serves as:

  • An information portal on the tourist tax for the general public;
  • A declaration & payment portal for hosts;
  • A collection management and monitoring portal for the manager.

How to pay the taxe de séjour

Payments are generally made twice per year but could be required more frequently depending on where your business is based. You will usually receive notifications when the payment is due and your local commune will confirm your payment schedule and deadlines. Most communes have online payment platforms set up to enable an easy payment process – but make sure to check on your local website in advance so you’re prepared.

A person types on a macbook
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters

We hope that this FAQ is informative. For the latest government information relating to the taxe de séjour please click here (in French only).

At OVO Network, we support owners in all aspects of their business, helping them build strong relationships with loyal guests. From guest communication to marketing, revenue/booking management, photography and more – our experts can help turn your chalet business into a success.

Interested in learning more about our solution? Head over to our website to discover more or arrange a call with one of our experts today.

Finally, don’t forget to sign up for our Industry Insider Newsletter and be the first to receive tips on running your holiday rental business, expert opinions and the latest industry news.

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