An interesting point on the new Loi Alur legislation is that by applying for change of use for your property, and collecting the tourist tax, then arguably you no longer have to pay the Taxe d’Habitation.
We think it is certainly a new argument that if formal permission has been given for change of use, the taxe de sejour is being properly collected and paid to the mairie’s office so the owner can’t be expected to pay the Taxe d’Habitation too.
The point if covered on the French Public Services website: https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/actualites/003302
From our understanding, the owner of a furnished apartment, rented only on a seasonal basis must pay the housing tax if you or your friends and family occupy at some point within any given year. Therefore, if you are at any point in the 12 month period from 1 January enjoying the right to visit, even if you don’t then we’re afraid you will not be exempt from the tax. However, if you could prove that you have no plans to visit, such as working away on an oil rig for a year perhaps, or on a one way mission to Mars, then you might just get lucky and be exempt.
Certainly, if you have no plans to visit, and can prove you live abroad, then you could try to submit an argument for exemption.