The main home for french resident remain exempt from capital gains tax .
For secondary home: In terms of real estate gains, the tax is paid at the time of sale. The real estate capital gains are taxed at a flat rate of 19% plus 13.5% social charges. Or 32.5%.
EU Resident: If you are not resident in France, but you are resident in another EU country, the applicable capital gain rate is 19%, as no social charges are payable.
Non-EU Resident: If you are neither resident in France nor in a EU country the rate is 33.3%.
It is the notary who is responsible for the declaration to be filed and pay this tax on behalf of the seller.
The calculation of the gain:
The capital gain is the difference between the sale price and the purchase price of the property. The first is the amount contained in the purchase deed plus expenses incurred thereby. But the list is limited to: commission paid to an intermediary, diagnostics and certification costs, eviction costs, architectural fees for preliminary studies for a construction permit or fee for discharge of the mortgage.
The acquisition value is the amount mentioned in the act of purchase or, for property acquired at no cost but as a gift. This amount, lets call it “gift value”, is increased with the acquisition costs as the notary fees, or inheritance tax paid.
Finally, it is considered that the cost of construction, reconstruction, expansion, renovation or improvement. This time we retain the actual amount or a flat rate of 15% of the purchase price provided that the property has been owned for more than five years after its acquisition.
If sold within 5 years of ownership: Capital gains are fully taxed at 32.5%
in case of sale between 6 and 17 years: A reduction of 2% per year
in case of sale between 18 and 24 years: A reduction of 4% per year
in case of sale between 25 to 30 years: A reduction of 8% per year
After 30 years the capital gain is fully exempt
(N.B. The guide above is no replacement from proper legal advice and could countain errors so use the information at your own risk!)