RSI payments for AE's - clarification of percentages

I run a b&b and pay the RSI 14% of my takings (plus 25% of my takings on the dinners I serve).

My son works as a carpenter and pays them 26% (plus 15% on any materials he sells).

furthermore I get a 70% reduction on my taxable earnings.

I am not complaiing - but my son is.

Can anyone explain this apparent innequality / special treatment for people running b&b's - or am I missing something?

regards to all


No Debbie, farmers are often cited as having the lowest pensions in France, they're also the group where suicide is the highest - over 400 a year! the msa doesn't do any better than the rsi :-(

At the end of the day, of course I agree with the injustice you point out in the system, it is only encountering more 'black' than getting rid of it. So people keep a foot in legitimacy by charging X, then as much cash in hand as possible plus expenses the same. That undermines small businesses who have to operate above board. I've just seen one builder, small company of four, go to the wall because there are too many individual builders who work together but as each earning separately under the AE regime. The line of work we are in, social research, is not too bad and in fact a lot of French freelancers have changed country and now one finds them Geneva and London based but no doubt still living and working here much of the time. That is where the EU should not just try to make tax regimes uniform but working practices and how they are defined and administered.

Yes I am quite angry about the subject Clare as I think most of us who have been in the system for as long as we have are. I am not angry at you and I am not suggesting that a B&B does not have to have insurance etc as I presume you were not suggesting that a carpenter or artisan doesn't have ongoing costs too?!?!

Anyone who is working within the system has my support but some are penalised more than others. It is well known that artisans pay the highest cotisations and get the lowest pensions. We should all be farmers!

Yep Andrew is right! My husband has done 23 years here in France and previously 23 years in the UK. Apparently RSI have done all their side of the calculations but are waiting for a reply from the UK..........strange but apparently true. When we rang the UK we were told that there was no trace of my husband's situation as he wasn't yet UK pensionable age. The way we understood it he would get his French pension now but then next year when he is 65 he would get his UK one. So complicated and yuou just have to go with what they tell you - no other choice

I mentioned working on the black in my first reply which didn't work, but yes that was the other main reason (or THE main reason!). Yep, 30% would be ok but the current 48% plus all the rest means you have to work from jan to august for the state before you start earning for yourself! Or stick with the AE scheme which does give people a really easy hassle free way of doing business in France.

Yep sorry but I get quite bitter about this subject. I am exployed as well and in fact in January this year the minimum wage overtook my hourly rate but c'est normal en France! Employment either self or being employed must be one of the most inequal and unfair things there are in this country. You are expected to give your all and be grateful to have a job but then there is no reward or appreciation. It is all a one way street. Roll on retirement whatever that is


you could try, Geoff, but there's no way of knowing what you'll get untill the day you retire, and then it often takes the best part of a year for them to decide (and that's the same whatever your nationality!).

Debbie has just touched upon something else - Pensions paid as a result of working in France.

I expect many people have uncertainties about this side of things and wonder if I should start a new topic on it - rather than hijacking this thread ?

Debbie, you seem quite angry in your responses. Do you think that a B&B does not have to have insurances and they do not have any travel costs at all in connection with the business? Your responses on this forum seem quite bitter and angry and we are here to help / advise and encourage others.

You know exactly where I'm coming from, Debbie. I've worked as an AE, vacataire, had CDD and now I pay plein pot running an SNC and simply accept that I'm paying 48% RSI, plus IR and IS so around 60% all told - c'est la France :-O

:-) Thanks for the back up Andrew. I sometimes feel like you are having an ear bashing on some of these forums from some when you are simply trying to help/advice or give an explanation to a query.

The AE system was also intended to get rid of all the black work but of course it doesn't. It takes six years to become a qualified artisan and now fortunately an AE does have to prove his artisan qualification as an apprentice or whatever. All the while there are such high charges to pay the system is there to be abused. When we first started 23 years ago the charges were 30% for an artisan which we didn't think was too bad now when the accountant says 50% plus plus plus itis ridiculous.

So go for the mainstream regimes if there are big overheads and costs BUT pay up regardless of turnover, see above ;-)

Clare's said it, the regime was never set up for what it's being used for now. It was meant as a simple way to allow people to do extra work not as their main job, or for people to start up then go into the mainstream regimes where you often pay far more and you pay regardless of whether you're earning/invoicing/doing business. And yes, an artisan starting out is often far better off as an AE than taking the plunge under the mainstream regimes - that's exactly why everyone who isn't an AE has been complaining about unfair competition since 2009 :-O

My husband has been a fully fledged artisan paying high percentages into the system for the last 23 years. He finally liquidated his business at the end of last year because he could no longer continue to pay 50% of his earnings to the RSi as well Income tax, bank charges, accountants etc etc. He is also still waiting for the RSI to tell him how much pension they will give him - not expecting more than 300€ a month for all the money he has paid in and all the stress they have given us. They are quick enough to take the money and put the pressure on but extremely slow to come up with the goods. He has also now registered as an AE and although it feels wrong paying on the turnover it is so much less stress. 20 years ago someone said to me that you do not become self employed in France by choice as it is a noose around your neck. Yep she was right

But he will have travelling and insurance costs which I am sure would far outweigh the costs of washing etc

Erm an artisan has the outlay of all his tools at the beginning as well as their upkeep

But I suppose that this is the penalty for a simplified regime where you pay as you go with no outrageous accounting paperwork and other bureaucracy. We all have a choice of which regimes we go into and we choose accordingly ,and the point is, is that the carpenter in this instance is still probably better off at the moment than being in any other of the regimes, particularly if he is just starting out.