Town planning taxes

Town planning taxes

These are taxes payable on a planned construction or modification of a building requiring an application for planning permission.

We will not cover all of the town planning taxes here, simply the main ones (in particular, we do not cover the preventative archaeology levy, those taxes abolished as from 2015, etc.).

Development tax

(Article L331-1 of the French town planning Code)

This tax concerns development operations requiring planning permission.


  • identical reconstruction of a building destroyed less than 10 years ago;
  • constructions ≤ 5 m2;
  • developments made necessary by reason of a risk prevention plan;
  • certain constructions intended for public service or of a social nature;
  • etc,.

There are also partial exemptions (as regards the tax share assigned to municipalities), for example in the context of urban development zones (ZAC).

ð The tax base is the construction surface area, defined as the enclosed and covered floor area with a height of greater than 1.80 m as reduced by chutes, cavities, walls (thickness).

A value per square metre is applied to the tax base and reviewed annually. For 2016 the values were as follows: €701 or €795 in the Ile-de-France region.

A 50% reduction exists in some cases:

  • social housing;
  • main residences (first 100 m2);
  • premises used for industrial and craft purposes;
  • warehouses, hangars not open to the public;
  • covered parking areas.

For certain types of development, the tax base is calculated in a particular way:

  • tents, caravans: €3,000 per site;
  • small-scale accommodation for leisure purposes, e.g. mobile homes: €10,000 per site;
  • swimming pools: €200 per m2;
  • wind turbines higher than 12 meters: €3,000 per turbine / photovoltaic panels: €10 per m2;
  • non-built parking areas: €2,000 per site or, if so determined by a local town planning scheme (PLU) or land use plan (POS), €5,000 per site.

Development tax is applied to this tax base (surface x value per square metre or particular tax base) at the following rates:

  • municipal share: from 1% to 5% (with a maximum of 20% if specific works are needed for the development of the area concerned);
  • departmental share: 2.5%;
  • regional share (Ile-de-France): 1%

ðExample: for the town of Puteaux the rate totalled 8.3% in 2016.


  • 50%: 12 months after permission to build is obtained;
  • 50%: 24 months after permission to build is obtained;
  • unless the amount < €1,500, full payment is due 12 months after permission to build is obtained.

The tax is payable by the beneficiary of the permission to build. 


The FTA may vary the amount of the tax until 31 December of the third year following permission to build, or 31 December of the sixth year following the completion of construction without permission (given that, in this case, it is up to the taxpayer to demonstrate the date on which works were completed: such date initiates the limitation period).

ðThe taxpayer may make objection up until 31 December of the second year following the issuance of the first (or only) demand for payment of the tax, especially if the project has been modified. 

Charge for under-occupation (Versement pour Sous-Densité, VSD)

(Article L331-35 of the French town planning Code) 


A This is not to be confused with the charge for exceeding the legal density ceiling (PLD), which had the opposite aim (abolished end-2014).

In some municipalities with a local town planning scheme or land use plan, a “minimum density threshold” may be obtained for constructions, new or otherwise.

The amount of tax corresponds to:

50% value of land x [ (constructible surface of land x min. density threshold) – built surface]

 (constructible surface of land x min. density treshold) 




Land of 300 m2 (value €150,000), construction of 200 m2  

→Minimum Density Threshold = 0.8 (under-occupation charge applicable in municipality, i.e. a density target for the land of 300 x 0.8 = 240 m2)  

50% x 150,000 x [(300 x 0.8) – 200] / (300 x 0.8) 

75,000 x (240 – 200) / 240 = €12,500

The under-occupationcharge may not exceed 25% of the value of the land.

Payment of the under-occupationcharge is made in the same way as development tax.

Office creation tax in the Ile-de-France region

(Article L520-1 of the French town planning Code)

 Despite its current name, this tax applies not only to offices, but also to commercial and storage premises. 

This tax is payable on:

  • creation of surface areas;
  • conversion of premises previously assigned to other uses;
  • reconstruction of premises. 

For reconstruction operations of a building, including rehabilitation operations considered to produce a new building within the meaning of article 257, I, 2, 2° of the French Tax Code, tax is only charged on the additional area (if any) compared to the one existing before reconstruction or rehabilitation

For change of use operations (transformation of storage premises into shops or storage ou commercial premises into offices): deduction of the tax actually paid in respect of past use.


  • in industrial establishments:
    • - offices that are dependent on the production premises,
    • - offices ≤ 1 000 m2,
    • - research premises,
  • offices included in a place of residence;
  • parking locations;
  • offices of freelance professions and of public offices;
  • premises of a social nature;
  • premises of a sanitary nature;
  • premises assigned to a public service, social security, family allocations, associations of recognised public utility;
  • premises rebuilt after a loss event or following compulsory purchase;
  • etc.

The tax is only due on operations carried out in the Ile-de-France region. 

The taxable base (surface area) is determined in the same way as for the development tax.

The Amending Finance Law of 2015 has reformed the tax in its rates and zoning. Its implementing decree was published in the Official Journal of 4 October 2017 (Decree No. 2017-1421) of 2 October 2017.

This reforms implements the guidelines fixed by the Prime Minister during the inter-ministerial committee on the Grand Paris of April 2015. To this end, the taxable zone was reduced (except for storage premises) and the rates revised in order to reinforce territorial rebalancing (reduction of tariffs for offices in zone 2 et 3, limited increase in zone 1).

Summary table of the tariffs per square meters

Tariffs for 2018


1st district: 
Paris and Hauts de Seine

2nd  district: 
Towns of the Grand Paris Metropolis

3rd district: 
Towns of the Paris urban unit

4th district: 
Towns of the IDF region

Offices 407.64 91.72 50.96 0
Commercial premises 131.48 81.53 32.62 0
Storage premises 14.28

Tariffs before the reform (2015)


1st district:
Paris and Hauts de Seine

2nd  district:
Towns of the Grand Paris Metropolis

3rd district :
Towns of the Paris urban unit

Offices 368.95 229.52 92.24
Commercial premises 128.71 80.44 32.18
Storage premises 13.95 13.50 13.95


The amount of the tax is now capped (can not exceed 30% of the share of the cost of the operation attributable to the acquisition and development of the construction area).

Article 50 of the Amending Finance Law for 2015 created for the benefit of the IDF region an additional fee of 0.60% to the property tax (TPF) on transfers for consideration of premises for Offices, commercial premises and storage facilities completed more than 5 years ago. Are also exempt, the premises acquired with a commitment of resale within the period of 5 years.

The creation of this additional tax was justified by the desire to offset the revenue losses of the IDF region resulting from the reform of the tax for the creation of offices.



haut parleur1

focus // transition phase

Abatements of the 3/4, 1/2 and 1/4 of the increase of the tax charge for the years 2016 to 2018 have been planned for the offices and commercial premises located in municipalities that have lost their eligibility for the Urban Solidarity Allocation (DSU), or the Solidarity Fund of the Ile-de-France region municipalities (FSCRIF):

  • for the office premises: in the municipalities of the first district that have lost their eligibility for the DSU or the FSCRIF over the years 2013 to 2015,

  • for the commercial premises: in the municipalities of the first and second district that have lost their eligibility for the DSU or FSCRIF over the years 2013 to 2015; in the municipalities of the second district eligible to both DSU and FSCRIF in 2015. 

The liable person for the payment of the tax is the owner of the premises or the holder of a right in rem on these offices at the date of the operative event. 


The tax is due from the issuance of the Collector's (the authority collecting the tax) certificate. 


The tax assessment notice must be issued before 31 December of the 3rd year of the trigger operation (issuance of building permit / declaration at town hall). The right of resumption of the FTA is possible until 31 December of the 6th year following the year of the trigger operation. 

This document and the information it contains are intended to provide as complete and accurate information as possible. It is however theoretical in nature and must undergo all necessary checking prior to its application. FiscalImmo and its authors cannot in any circumstances be held liable on the basis of this document.