British people who own property in France will be eligible for reimbursement of money paid out as taxes following the introduction of a “social charge” by French President Francois Hollande in 2012.
The charge meant that around 200,000 non-resident Britons who sold or let second homes in France had to pay an extra 15.5 per cent tax on capital gains. The reason Hollande gave for introducing the charge was to “remove an unjustified tax advantage” given to non-residential owners, bringing in an estimated €250m (£178m) each year.
But a new ruling by the European Court of Justice has reversed this and ordered that those who have already paid the charge should be paid back, and the reimbursements could amount to millions of pounds according to The Telegraph.
The court said that the tax violates EU law, since a resident of the union should only have to contribute to the social security system of one member state. The social charge is therefore considered illegal.
French law expert Graeme Perry described the ruling as “good news for the many EU residents who have been forced to pay this charge", and advised anyone eligible to submit a claim to the Frnech authorities.
"If you have already made a claim, you should now write to the French tax administration asking for your money back and also asking for a refund of any tax agent's fees."