My husband has worked here in France since 2006, initially as an Enterprise Indivduelle. Our first two years of cotisations were as we expected, then I had a heart attack and having a young child, my husband had to take time off work to look after us both. I have to add that he works as a sub contractor over 140kms away from home and so is normally away from home each week, monday-friday!
To cut a long story short I had a second heart attack and again my hubby had to take time off work, our finances suffered and we wrote to RSI explaining what had happened and that we couldnt afford to pay our cotisations in full - we received an acknowledgment (a minor miracle apparently!) the upshot being that they were dealing with our dossier and would get back to us - that was in 2008! Meantime because of our awful financial situation my husband redoubled his work efforts in order to hopefully get us back on track - the consequence of that was that his income increased over the limit for an Enterprise Individuelle (by about 5000Euros!) and our accountant told us that he had to change his statut and become TVA registered. On this basis, with our income not changing that dramatically, we naively put aside increased but still similar amounts to what we had originally been asked to pay -3500Euros.
On this Christmas Eve, God bless them, RSI sent us a communication for the first time since 2008 enclosing our cotisations for 2008 - 2012 demanding some be paid by 16th January and others 31st January - the total of these being over 66500Euros! (2008 was for 3480Euros based on our original statut (Enterprise Individuelle) and net income of 25500Euros -in comparison - for 2010 we have a demand of 21750Euros on our upgraded statut and "calculated" on a net income of 29058Euros - total madness!)
We have sent everything to our accountant - querying all the amounts and theyre looking into it - their last comment being that "it is a little bit complicated" In the meantime we are both stressed to the nines, my husband is totally and understandably despondent, disillusioned and dismayed by the whole business. In effect, averaging out the cotisations RSI are asking us to pay, they are demanding over 50% of our income and on top of that we still have to pay income tax and professional tax and take it on the chin that we are unpaid tax (TVA) collectors for the state.
Our house is for sale, initially we put it up for sale so that we could move to where my husbands work is but now we face the prospect, when the house eventually sells, of using a large part of the proceeds from the sale to pay off this huge debt. This will alter our plans dramatically because property in the area we had hoped to move to is far more expensive than where we live now.
So this brings me to my questions - does anyone know what kind of powers RSI have - can they seize control of the sale of our home to pay their fees? Can my husband declare himself bankrupt (which seems to be the easy get out clause in the UK), if he can, should he? Im so worried, hearing some of the horror stories about RSI that even if they are completely wrong in their calculations, they wont address the problem and dig their heels in? Other than taking the word of our accountant and/or RSI, is there any way we can verify that what were being asked to pay is roughly correct?
I have sent a recorded delivery letter to RSI confirming that we can pay a small percentage but that we completely dispute their calculations and are consulting our accountant. In taking this further one of the things adding to the stress is language (suprise suprise!) I speak reasonable basic french - my husband is the same in conversations that touch our normal everyday life, we can understand the gist of most conversations and read french reasonably better than we understand spoken french - but the keyword here is "gist" which is no good when were speaking about a more convoluted subject like this to our accountant or some other beaurocrat in an office and it is worrying the heck out of us.
Can anyone shed any light on how we can try to resolve this mess -many thanks.