Video - Illegal swimming pools discovered by tax authorities: what are the risks to owners?

Video – Illegal swimming pools discovered by tax authorities: what are the risks to owners?

Real estate – AI now allows tax services to identify potentially unauthorized swimming pools. Thus several thousand requests for information were sent to the taxpayers of the Var and Bouches-du-Rhone. Fines can be up to 150 euros.

This is an unknown record: with more than three million swimming pools, France is the European champion in private pools, and second in the world, after the United States. This phenomenon accelerated during the health crisis that led to an explosion of orders during the first reservation. But if the trend attracts more and more French, the construction of the swimming pool remains subject to strict conditions, to comply with tax services and thus avoid any fine.

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Especially as the fight against fraud is getting more and more effective. Thanks to satellite maps, analyzed by artificial intelligence, Percy has already sent 12,000 requests for information to taxpayers in the Var and Bouches-du-Rhone, after identifying potentially undeclared swimming pools as part of the “Innovative Earth” pilot project. A system started by Public Finance with the support of digital services company Capgemini and Google. It makes it possible to compare the mapping data of the National Institute of Geographical Information and Forestry (IGN, whose photos can be consulted via the website with taxpayer declarations, France Bleu details.

The results provided by this computer algorithm are then analyzed by a tax official. This study takes some time: at the moment, the total number of unauthorized swimming pools in these two divisions is not yet known. “We will only be able to determine things, in several weeks at best, at the end of adversarial proceedings”identifies the Directorate General of Public Finance (DGFP), which the LCI has joined.

A fine of up to 150 euros and a quadrupling of the property tax contribution

It is already necessary to advertise the construction of certain swimming pools, as this can significantly increase the value of the property and thus increase the property tax. If the error is proven, the owners will receive a settlement request. If the latter remains unanswered, they are subject to a tax adjustment and a fine. In detail, the taxpayer must fund the amounts of unauthorized areas, sometimes over several years, “with default interest”indicates DGFP. “Then, the nature of the absence of advertising may lead to increased penalties.”It continues, depending on the nature of the fraud – oversight in good faith or willful omission.

Thus the tax penalty can be up to 150 euros if no declaration is made within the specified time limits. If a declaration is submitted but includes omissions or inaccuracies, the fine is between 60 and 150 euros, according to Article 1729c of the General Tax Code. As for the contribution to the property tax, it can be doubled up to four times according to the date of completion of the pool (Article 1508).

A model for completing swimming pools with an area of ​​more than 10 square meters

To avoid such disappointments, a clear rule must be followed: the pool must be declared within 90 days of its construction, once it is over 10 square meters in size and cannot be moved without demolishing, burying or above ground. To do this, owners must complete a form to submit to the survey office of the tax department on which their property is based. “Any addition to a building that leads to an increase in the rent which serves as the basis for establishing the property tax and housing tax, even when the construction is not related to the main part of the dwelling”the tax website mentions.

Swimming pools are already subject to a development tax of €200 per square metre, a fixed tax base that can change according to the municipal and departmental rate, as the Ministry of Economy website specifies. The online simulator allows cost estimation. Also Note: Submitting this declaration on time allows you to benefit from the property tax exemption for two years. If the deadline is exceeded, The exemption applies to the period remaining after December 31 of the following year.Article 1406 of the General Tax Code specifies.

So be sure to respect the procedure to be followed and verify that the documents are recorded in the tax services files. In the TF1 20H report at the top of this article, a couple living near Marseille testified: After submitting a declaration to certify the work was completed, they did not find this form in their file. “It’s complicated because we’re at odds. We think we’ve done a good job, when we haven’t done everything without knowing it.”He trusts the owner he claims to want “Be level and swim in peace”.

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This accuracy is all the more important as the AI ​​tracking mode must be extended nationwide and to all buildings by the end of the year.

As for the building permit application, care must also be taken to submit it to the Town Hall, making sure that the municipality’s urban plan is respected. In case of violation of these rules, the owner is liable to a fine much higher than that imposed by the tax authorities: between 1,200 euros and 6,000 euros per square metre, “In the case of building the surface of the earth”, and €300,000 in other cases, sets out Article L480-4 of the Town Planning Code. In the event of a repeat offence, the fraudster is liable to imprisonment for six months, in addition to a fine.

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