Adjustments in taxe d’habitation & foncières charges - what you need to know


(Anna Watson) #21

I wholeheartedly agree with Stella - the tax folk are very helpful and will try to explain how it all works. That’s basically their job, answering questions and demystifying the whole taxes thing for the French public so that people understand how it works. I think it’s good to understand how things work, it makes me feel more comfortable about it all; maybe I’m a control freak but I hate having to rely on other people to do things for me. E&Y or anyone else you pay will not explain how it works because if you understood, and in many cases realised how simple it all is, you would not pay them to do it any more.

(Tony PERLA) #22

I gather then there are not that many children at the school. Which makes it nice for the moms who drop them off, but expensive for town budgets.

Anyway, the handwriting is on the wall - the small “country schools” will eventually be consolidated. (This is France, after all, and the schooling-system is run from the Dept. of Education in Paris.)

But, will you see your TF reduced? I doubt it very much in the smaller countryside villages. But in the larger towns, which have been havens of useless employees (who helped the mayor get elected) will find a good many layoffs. (Which is why there were so many in the streets yesterday demonstrating.)

France is going through an agonizing transition into the 21st century. It’s a bit late, but that is how I translate why Macron got such an overwhelming vote - which, given the other choice between him or blondie, was bound to be very large.

Still, after Holland, I suspect the French have understood that if nothing changes radically in the country then their kids are going to be just as unemployed as the parents. (The rate has come down, but as I write unemployment is just a wee bit less than 10% (9.5% actually) …

(If interested see the historical rate here).

(Anna Watson) #23

Some will some won’t, if Macron’s radical reforms of TF are put into effect.

But it has to be borne in mind that that is a more meaningful figure than for instance the UK’s far lower figure - people in France who are counted as employed actually have proper secure jobs to go to, whereas how many people in the UK are on a zero hours contract that keeps them off the unemployment statistics but doesn’t actually provide work or any security whatsoever?

(Tony PERLA) #24

I beg to differ. You’ve been rather lucky.

I have been talking to a lot of Brits/Yanks working in Toulouse, and I suspect they would have a different opinion to offer.

It’s really more like hit-or-miss. It depends upon the pecking-order. (Meaning level of income and where one is placing their money.)

It seems that the game of depositing funds in countries other than the one in which you pay taxes is Old Hat. That is, the tax authorities are out for blood.(They’ve already “had” one Minister from the Holland regime who was stashing his funds earned abroad in Switzerland.)

France has already collected at least a hundred million euros from the French who were hiding the money abroad - or so the story goes.

Anyway, a word to the wise: Be Careful. (You might not want to roll up to the Tax Office in your Rolls … ;^)

(Anna Watson) #25

Differ about what? Lucky about what? Sorry, I expect I’m being dim but can’t see how this connects to anything that I’ve said.

(Tony PERLA) #26

Sorry, Anna, that bit got printed without my being able to finish it …

(Tony PERLA) #27

The figure I gave was according to an international agreement regarding unemployment statistical reporting according to the ILO (International Labor Office).

(Anna Watson) #28

I think we’re singing from different hymn sheets. My “wisdom” is being upfront and honest, and my way of being “careful” is making sure that I cross the I’s and dot the T’s and do everything by the book so that my back is covered. If I had a Rolls I wouldn’t hesitate to Roll up to the tax office in it because my conscience would be clear and I would no doubt feel that I’d paid enough in taxes to entitle me to take up space in their car park for a while.

As a wily old French accountant who I once tutored in English used to put it, pitting your wits against the taxman is a game you can choose to play or you can choose not to play it, but if you play and lose you have to smile and pay up. That’s what he used to tell his clients, he didn’t see it as his job to discourage them from trying it on but he did see it as his job to warn them of the possible consequences.

It’s not that I’m a goodie two shoes, it’s just that I’m risk averse.

(Anna Watson) #29

But AFAIK (ie from what I read) the UK has no way of knowing who’s on a zero hours contract and who isn’t, so how could they reflect this in the way they report the statistics, even if they wanted to?

Whereas it’s a safe bet that nobody on France is on such a contract because they are not acceptable here.

(Anna Watson) #30

Just to add - if your Rolls is registered in France then the tax office already knows about it, whether they see it outside their door or not. High value acquisitions such as yachts, private planes and expensive cars are automatically recorded in your tax file. The admin computer is very joined up - the impôts knows what your house is worth and what property taxes you pay, what cars are registered to your household, etc. My tame tax consultant explained that most investigations are sparked simply by the computer flagging up that a person is living a lifestyle that would not be possible on the level of income declared (they have algorithms that correlate lifestyle to income), and it’s then up to you to prove where the money came from. That applies to chômeurs working on the black as well as to the super rich, eg if week after week they make zero cash withdrawals from their bank and their statements show no card payments for groceries, fuel etc, they will have to explain what the family lived on. Quite effective really because it’s difficult to benefit from the money you have hidden from the taxman if you can’t spend it on anything visible or use it in any way that is traceable, so that’s a disincentive in itself.

(Tony PERLA) #31

Good post. I confirm what you relate, because I have a friend retired from the “Fisc” who tells me the same.

I’d still like to know why, as a Yank, my bank asked me for a copy of my Tax Declaration to open an account.

It’s due to FATCA, I think.

(stella wood) #32

Tony… it was probably their way of confirming you and your details… ie Resident and “In” the system. I’m no Yank… and I had to do the same… :blush:

(Anna Watson) #33

I imagine that FACTA obliges them to do this but even leaving that aside, EU banks do need to know where their clients are tax resident, for the purposes of reporting and information sharing and also KYC. If you tell your French bank you’re tax resident somewhere else they may well ask for proof, in the form of your national tax declaration, and if you tell them you’re resident in France they may want to check too. Otherwise people could have bank accounts in several countries and tell each bank that they are tax resident somewhere else with a view to paying tax nowhere at all.
I still have a UK bank account and from time to time that bank asks me to confirm that I’m tax resident in France, so far they’ve never asked for proof but it wouldn’t surprise or bother me if one day they do.
My French bank wanted to see my tax returns when we discussed business accounts.

(Tony PERLA) #34

I would have thought that my tax-payments to the Fisc from my account would have told them as much …

(stella wood) #35

Tony… there are specific documents to be produced and procedures to be followed…no shortcuts allowed :blush:

(Anna Watson) #36

Doesn’t compute, because how could you already be paying the fisc out of your account when you were only at the stage of applying to open said account…

(Tony PERLA) #37

I have had this account long before FATCA, and they asked me about
two-years ago to send a copy of my French tax-declaration.

Which I did not care to do. Silly me …

(Tony PERLA) #38

Stella, if you’re a Brit, you belong to the EU.

You don’t have FATCA on your back, or you would were you American.

(Tony PERLA) #39

The unemployment statistics are compiled in a uniform way across the EU. And that “uniform way” was defined long ago within the International Labor Organization (which has a keen interest in its compilation worldwide).

There could be some confusion in the reckoning of particular instances, but they rarely are of a magnitude to really influence the overall number …

(Anna Watson) #40

Fair enough but if the UK has no statistics on zero hours contracts (which apparently it doesn’t), with the best will in the world how can it report them?