Auto Entrepreneurs & using couriers

Hello all. We're busy this week exporting some goods by courier to the USA and it occurs to me that because hubby is an AE, we should be charging the customer 13% on top of the courier fee, to enable us to pay the charges sociale because the fee will be going through our account as part of the transaction & therefore is added to our Chiffres D'Affaires


Social charges are payable on the CA at a flat rate, including ALL income, Gross revenue.



Is this right? or is it, as hubby argues, not necessary to count it as a business expense of OURS, because we're not providing this service or selling it, it's only a third party transaction.


Personally, I think as its going through our account, it has to be included in our CA

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ahh, I like that it gives a certain air of expertise :)

thought you might like to see what all the fuss was about - it’s off to the USA in September. :wink:

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yes we are, but I was sure I saw a breakdown on one letter, that would have charged me 26% for part of my service and 13% for my sales - I think you're meant to declare services as separate items on the declaration form. Anyway, I am insisting the client books the courier..or pays me a surcharge of 26%

Hello David, Andrew is right, the charges are accrued because by accepting payment via us, we would be acting as a third party between the courier and client, so it also has to go through our books as part of our Gross Revenue _ Chiffres D'affaires.

In order to register to pay social charges on a system "REAL" we would have to hire a certified accountant to sign the books off, which we can't do because the turnover is not big enough so we have to stick with the "auto entreprenerur" or micro--bic-simplfiée tax regime...we need to be extremely creative to have a fair rate of tax with such a small turnover as 13% represents a huge portion of our potential salary. We're struggling to come off benefits.

At least with a REAL system, taxes and charges are calculated after expenses are deducted(such as couriers) not before. The problem there is that the social charges have to be paid even if you make no profit at all.

The plus side is the pensions are better, & that if like me, you are partly disabled, you get to start with a minimum of 450 euro pension on top of anything you can earn.(it was 281 until recently) As long as you aren't claiming any other benefits this is much better than the UK. If you can't earn much for a month, the pension gets taken off any benefit, so you end up with nothing but the pension. Healthcare is still 100% covered though and is hugely better in my experience.

hello Liz, I found Parcel Monkey was fab and very reasonable to get a large packet over here from the UK recently. If you find one that delivers to the UK or France to a local shop instead of door to door, they are the cheapest.

Exactly, your two comments say it all Andrew. The baseline is that as an AE turnover counts and when personal expense is involved that is money that is going to be included in any payment that includes repayment you will include that in your 23% quarterly declaration like it or not. We have had to write off fares, travel allowances, accommodation and other expenses before we learned how not to included them ourselves or have them included in a single payment. Wherever possible we try to get repayment of sometimes hefty out of pocket expenses as personal cheques or through other means of payment including cash in hand. Even that, if you are caught, is then subject to social charges with trouble and a fine on top. There is, unjustly, no differentiation between goods, services and expenses whatsoever. It is a pain in the posterior but with some creative moves...

Adding an additional fee to cover taxes etc is always a difficult one. Some add it to their carriage costs whilst others hide it in a slightly inflated product cost.Either way the customer pays it. Regrettably with AE there are no expenses - if it forms part of your turnover it is liable for cotisations and tax !

Could anyone advise on cheapest courier from France to UK, USA, AU for our charity - we ship very lightweight puppets internationally to sick children and from UK had a special tariff from UPS - only been here for 5 weeks so need some4 guidance/advice please http://www.icoef.com thanks.

Hi Jo, I didn't think you could choose between service or sales - the four years I was in the AE régime you got put in one or other activity depending on what you were doing and paid the relevant contributions. Perhaps that's changed but I'm not sure it has! As for the stripes - Years ago when I was still teaching and translation I had far more time to comment, help and advise and was voted member of the month, got the maire like stripes and they're still there even though I rarely get the chance to contribute now :-(

the autoentrepreneur régime isn't run on a normal business regime, David. That's the whole problem - it's very simplified, no overheads or expenses can be charged but stoppages are about half what they are for those of us in the régime général. Oh and TVA probably won't be paid twice as most autoentrepreneurs don't pay it ;-)

Surely the courier has already paid. If it's payable again it's like paying VAT twice- no wonder French companies are not so competitive. (Not that I have or want one I am retired). In the UK there used to be a diffrence betwen services and disbursements which used to include things like local authority and other costs paid by us as architects on behalf of a client and then reimbursed as a disbursement. That was until such fees skyrocketted and we later insisted that clients paid them direct. Maybe you could get your clients to do that too. It would of course be very time consuming but you are providing a service for the client and he could save money by paying direct. It's quite clearly ridiculous. We used to charge for all postage, couriers, photocopying, printing etc. I once got stuffed for ÂŁ10k of photocopying when a client went spectacularly bust on me (large project). In 1992/3 we suffered bad debts of about ÂŁ150 k which was a bit of a blow! Had to make about 25 people redundant. Couriers could maybe be paid direct by client/customer by Paypal. It doesn't get sent until he has paid Paypal- simple.

your activity is sales so it gets classed as sales so at the cotisations are 13.3% on the total facture (cost of goods plus courier) - at least this is what the cci told me when I sent up in May

and while I have you online, can I just ask what that french flag is in the corner of the profile picture? have you got shares in SFN? or is it to do with your french qualifications?

hello Andrew. :) thanks, I'm also thinking as arranging the courier is a "service" and not "goods" sold, he would also have to pay & charge the 22% rate for services rather than the 13% for commerçants

Am so glad I sulked all morning and insisted I was right (again) - sly grin

you're right, Jo, if you pay the courier and then charge the client. Your husband is right if the client pays the courier direct - the easiest and cheapest way as far as accounts are concerned as an AE ;-)