CFE and Taxe Fonciere - how is it calculated? URGENT

I have just received the CFE form to complete urgently (flying to Austhursday until after the deadline!)

Me and my wife each have desks in the corner of a guest room and the landing respectively and also a workshop in the garden with internet access. In terms of CFE and Taxe fonciere how do I report these to my best advantage? e.g. in terms of surface area, the desk size or the room size? or shift all our work into the garden workshop? In actuality, having a laptop I work all over the place in the house but I dont want to declare figures now that will mean more tax than necessary for years to come.

Great links Hilary, good to read the English point of view sometimes. Change will come yes, but lets hope it's not too late!


Just discovered this...which illustrates your point(s)...

and this

...but change will come....

RIP indeed, David. What a pleasure it was to nicely lay shiny red bricks on unctuously mixed compo - all turned by hand in those days ! It was the morning ritual for all to turn clockwise shovelling the compo mix.

Just looked it up to find that the Accrington Brick Co Ltd ceased trading in 2008. RIP. Their bricks were 75mm actual while normal bricks are 65mm actual both nominal so 4 course of Accrington will be 40mm or so more than 305mm! This used to be a trick question in Manchester circa 1966 when i started work there. Any other brick afficianados out there?

Ian forgive me if my memory has gone but southern bricks used to course at 4 to a foot or 305 mm with s nominal joint size at 10mm (about 3/8") whilst the Accringtons were certainly jointed tighter I thought they were slightly large and coursed slightly more. I fully accept that brick sizes vary and they used to say the the BS was a brick maker's charter when it came to sizing accuracy as only a banana would fail! Sorry to be such a nerd but it makes a change from computer terms. I used to bore for England on ceramic tiling norms!

I'd say they were Accrington brick, yes David. If by Lancs size you mean slightly thinner and longer then, yes :)

More than half Welsh I am but I have never done a building in Wales! I know the very exact red bricks they used in North Wales- were they from Accrington I wonder and if so were they Lancs or southern sizes? Any information gratefully received!

Yes, I get regular emailings too and have thrown a few pennies in their direction as I think as in the case also of Greenpeace, they do a great job of opposing...'barmyness', from what ever direction....and I'm no raving 'leftie' either....

I took part in a short (1 day) 'Bricklaying for Beginners' course at the local adult education place in Surrey, a few years ago...Interesting and would have been more enjoyable if I had been fitter.....I would take on simple projects in the garden after this, but I actually need the skill for changing a doorway into a window, but using stone (or breeze-blocks with stone facing) for the build up of the wall area, which would need to be locked into the existing stonework....So I'm going to have to employ, money, money......

The Welsh fellas I worked with in Cardiff and Pembrokeshire were excellent dab hands too. Round there they used those shiny red ones. Plumb lines !

Yes- Dick Emery! After all Churchill was a bit of a dab hand at bricklaying and it really is a great skill and a joy. Bricklaying is also something which is a tradition in one country and not in another. Back in the 70's we had great problems getting first class brickwork done in Scotland (where in general harling is the thing) to match existing adjacent work. The main contractor (Uncle) George Wimpey eventually had to give up in bring in English brickies to the fury of the Scottish unions. West Indians used to be considered as great chippies or plasterers but bad brickies. I don't know what the current state is but if I was extending an English house in bricks in say Sussex give me a skilled and time served Wealden brickie any day. No doubt my views would be held to be prejudiced these days but experience in such matters is hard enough to discount.

I already get their campaigns emailed to me, as well as 38 degrees (actually 38 degrees is the way it's going for some people my eldest son has four already!). I don't object to all the things these campaigners want to but it's nice to be made aware of what is going on. It's easier than all that marching and sitting in we used to do!


Was that a Dick Emery quote?

Quite agree with all your comments.

And, just to add that I was also allowed to help my stepdad "point" the front of the house when I was 12.

I should have gone into the building trade instead of sitting in front of a PC all day; I'd be a lot fitter and slimmer ;-)

Hi Tim & David,

Somewhere in the French psyche there exists the possiblity of change (even though I admit that to make changes in a country where to aim for a career in their civil service is almost the highest pinacle of achievement, may take some doing...I suspect it's beaucracy at that level that is really the problem), after all, they did have a revolution not so long ago.....

One shouldn't be put off by the threat of 'dirty' protests, I feel, so after a brief internet search for an equivalent to 38 degrees in France and came across this international organisation....

I'll certainly be checking Avaaz out....and maybe asking other SFN members to support a couple of campaigns...?

Don't think you can get me over by your compliments (but as they say I like you anyway!) - it's just that the bones don't seem quite so young! Actually I'm a great believer in keeping those noble skills of joinery, bricklaying, slate and leadwork etc going. Towns and villages are so much the better for it. I love fresh food etc but if I had to choose between that and being able to enjoy communities where the very permanent architecture and some charm and delight rather than being an anonymous slapped together mess of cost engineering then I would be happy to eat a tin or two of baked beans! One of my nicer and more appreciate clients was a royal cabinet maker and I would be quite happy to see my progeny doing something similar (although I'm proud of their academic, work and life skills). I just don't have any faith at all in this insistence that everybody needs to go to university, and many who do go are hopless at real life skills.

At one point I went in for building site jobs. Started by hod carrying which is surely a trade worthy of UNESCO protection ; a fine art to hold the hod at just the right angle on your shoulder so the bricks don't slide off :) Went on unloading bags of cement off an artic ; on to your shoulder with a puff of cement dust then stagger it over to the stack - 1000 sacks to a lorry load. Then manually digging out foundation trenches (in morainy pebbly clay). Finally ended up actually brickying, which was eminently satisfying. Learnt a whole load of masonry and carpentry tricks which have stood in good stead ever since! (And all this whilst being in no way even a mini-Tarzan - couldn't do all that fetching and carrying these days)

Great stuff David...and you look so young ;-) Quite fancy bricklaying myself, yes really. When I was a teenager one of my classes at the mixed school I went to for a while (in the 1970s) was a DIY sort of lesson. I learnt how to lay bricks, put a pane of glass into a window frame, and work a lathe :) However, at the girls school I went to we learnt how to iron a mans shirt, clean a brush and comb, make triple decker sandwiches and quiches etc - have to laugh at it all now, but those lessons have really stuck in my memory. :)

When I arrived in France in 1955 our car was unloaded by craning it off the ferry. Undocking took about four hours. Then you emerged into the plains of northern France where lots of the buildings were still full of bullet holes from the war, and tractors ploughing were many fewer than the horses. The French used to have a tax on "Signes exterieures de la richess", which was akin to a window tax so if you kept your house in good order you were taxed more than if it was shabby. There's still an element of this that applies in rural France. I believe that about half of all employed people are in the functionnaire sector (that would probably include state owned industry). It's genuinely hard to start a business in France. You need to do a course even to sweep the floors. In the UK they are now seeking to recruit Portugese brick layers at £1000 a week because there are not enough in the UK. In France they would have to do a course in French and how to lay bricks before they could start. In the UK they could probably start next week. Not enough British people want to be bricklayers, even if they are paid twice many other jobs get, even with a degree.

Sadly it won't do any good.

They are entrenched in the mire.

Bear in mind that to be enterprising in France is bad. You are an evil 'patron'. You are self employed and bourgeois and gain money for your own good and do not help the socialist cause. When they say Liberté. Egalité they also mean economic "égalité". Whilst the French may have a word for entrepreneur, it is a dirty one. Loads of people would love to expand their business and take on more workers, but then you have work regulations that are thicker then the Beijing phone book.

And of course the one who had a bit of financial acumen decided to wave his willy at the maid.

Any attempt at reform will be greeted with manifestations, manure on the mairie and burning sheep.

It will be very interesting if Valls and Macron can do anything. But the commies are up in arms already over the horrible idea of - gasp - stores opening on a Sunday! Quelle Horreur! I am sure all the French will be too busy in church to go to Mr Bricolage to get that screw they need to put the bookshelves together.

In my teens, whilst travelling by car through Northern France and onwards to Greece, I marvelled at the sad state of some facades on some really beautiful old buildings....It strikes me that despite wanting to be a powerhouse in the modern world of the EU, the government seems to be horribly entrenched in some archaic,'bad' laws and ways of doing, discouraging up front tax payments for small new businesses,...(I've heard), and how 'mad' (it seems to me), to discourage people from improving their property by taxing them ?....Surely, this not only affects the home-owner, but this policy changed would result in a 'boom' in the DIY sector & building trades and a much needed boost to the French economy as a whole. Bizarre..........

Come to think of it...which member of the French government should one lobby about this ? Is there a French 38 degrees ?