Who pays property tax in the year of property purchase?


Question to an expert

I am about to buy a house, the seller asks me to pay him a share of the 2023 property tax, is this normal?

The property tax is established every year in September for the whole year, according to the situation on 1er January of that same year. The property tax notice also includes the amount of the household waste collection tax.

It is therefore the owner at 1er January of the year who is liable for all of these taxes, even if the property is sold during the year. No contrary provision of the deed of sale can be opposed to the tax authorities.

Read also: Real estate purchase: can we extend the deadline for signing?

In practice, however, it is customary between the seller and the buyer to take into account the change of ownership. Almost all compromises and deeds of sale include a distribution clause pro rata temporis the amount of the property tax and that of the removal of household waste.

Immediate or post payment

This pro rata can be made between the parties when signing the deed of sale, by basing the calculation on the amount of the last property tax received by the seller. Or, a posteriori, upon receipt of the tax notice for the year of the sale.

Read also: Real estate: must the seller provide a dated pre-statement?

Generally, the refund takes place on the day of the sale. Thus, for a sale at the beginning of February, the seller recovers from the signing of the deed eleven twelfths of the property tax that he will have to pay in October. He bears the risk of a tax increase, but the security of immediate payment compensates for this risk.


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