August 3, 2021

Be careful, selling your main residence does not always allow you to be exempt from “all taxation”!

Lhe health crisis, confinements, the acceleration of the generalization of teleworking… will surely have effects on the behavior of the French in their real estate investment strategy, and in particular during the acquisition of their main residence. The hexagonal real estate market is already seeing some trends, including a growing interest in medium-sized cities or in the purchase of a second home.

We are witnessing, moreover, for the first time in more than six years a fall in real estate prices in the big cities or the acquisition of a double residence with a house in the provinces and a pied-à -terre in Paris.

Some will therefore be buyers and other sellers of their current main residence, benefiting from the total tax exemption regime, to find that much sought-after balance between personal and professional life.

This exemption is of a general nature regardless of the future destination of the property, the reasons for the transfer or the nature of the dwelling and applies to the immediate and necessary outbuildings transferred simultaneously with the building.

To benefit from this scheme, however, certain conditions must be met:

  • The property transferred must constitute the seller’s habitual and effective residence. This criterion is assessed on the basis of the time spent in the property during the year and results from a question of fact. It is generally advisable to reside there for more than six months.
  • The transferred accommodation must be the main residence on the day of the transfer. This excludes from the exemption regime buildings previously occupied and then sold when they have been leased, occupied free of charge by members of the family or third parties, or even become vacant.

The building must therefore be occupied until the day it is put up for sale. How then to assess the very frequent situation where sellers have already acquired their new main residence and moved while the old residence has not yet been sold?

Normal deadlines

To benefit from the exemption, the administration allows the transfer to be carried out within “normal” deadlines. No maximum period is therefore set and this is subject to a detailed assessment, each situation being necessarily unique in view of the economic reasons which can lengthen sales deadlines.

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The administration specifies all the same that, in a normal economic context, a period of one year constitutes in principle a normal period. It is above all a question of fact which is assessed by looking at all the circumstances of the operation. In particular, account should be taken of local real estate market conditions, the asking price, the specific characteristics of the property sold and the diligence carried out by the taxpayer to put this property up for sale (advertisements in the press, procedures with real estate agencies). , etc.).

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