Taxes Foncieres.....Gulp!

Have finally plucked up the courage to open the Taxes Forcieres envelope which thudded onto the doormat a couple of days ago. They seem to have risen significantly since last year. Does anyone have any experience of claiming rebates? It's something I intend to research every year but end up just paying the bill...Are people over 65 entitled to a discount does anyone know? We also have an unoccupied apartment being renovated which seems to be attracting full tax...

Any help would be appreciated....

Know it too David, how apt! Well apart from the age thing, ONLY 64 next week.

Good stuff Brian! From Dylan Thomas:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

....well...just shows there is a first for everything....agree with all the comments you make Brian...anyone who throws in their lot with whatever country they decide to live in, automatically in my book, means you are investing in that country and have every good reason to improve it....if that is by helping change outdated systems or improving the lot of those living there....I absolutely believe that is a requirement of being a citizen of any country. I have a very good friends who was politically active in the UK improving the lot of those less able to campaign themselves. She has lived in Spain for more than a dozen years on the local council in her Spanish town and campaigns hard for ex pats of all nationalities who are really suffering with lack of health care in Spain at the moment. She has great support from others on the council without a whiff of 'if you dont like it, go back' an option not available to many who have invested in Euroland either because they cant sell or because their properties have lost too much value to make going back impossible.

Right Carol and I think there are enough French members now to agree with that. The 'go home' line is too simple, it excludes the need to think, so let's place it in the bin with all of histories other screw ups.

The problem is, name a place. If I lived back in the UK I would be tearing my hair out, what am I doing here, yes - tearing my hair out. I am between the devil and the deep blue sea. I have a partner who is not British and has no political rights there and I cannot get them in Switzerland, so we'll take the limited ones we have here. Meanwhile I shall be as politically active as possible as I would be anywhere and forego my cross in parliamentary elections. I think too many people are foisted off with porkies and demi-porkies by officials here, but then I have experienced precisely the same with my wife in the UK and nearly torn some of the lying hounds limb from limb (metaphorically, of course). Sure Carol, I have occasionally argued hard with you, no evil intended as I hope you know, but I do the same with slightest scent of discrimination here from our French 'friends' and sometimes feel like doing actual evil to them.

Bergerac hospital is about to see a new legal action following the neglect of the American patient still in the news, I too had lies, wrong procedures and neglect this year and the fact they told you the opposite of what the situation really is adds nothing to my sentiments about them. Somebody I know as 'Corentin's mother' outside school who is a nurse there, assures me they are quite short and would happily take in non-French nurses, as long as French is good enough...Fair enough.

France is not very important in the world any longer and needs to look in the mirror at itself. Grow up and change or go under.

I shall remain here, like living here, it is now my home. But hacking away at its faults is part of my permanent agenda too.

Anyone know if you can claim a rebate on a rental property re this?

Our tenant flew the coup leaving us with a massive bill and the property has been empty for about a year.Is there any comeback on this?

yikes - just received mine & because they didn't bill us before for the house we're renovating (which is empty) we now have to pay our TF in 2 payments just before Christmas. Thanks guys! At least they have adjusted our monthly payments going forwards to include our home and the project so I won't have a nasty surprise again next year. It does however look like out TF has remained roughly the same as last year which is a relief.

Carolyn/André - re company pensions being paid and taxed in UK. Not strictly accurate because my company pension from a major UK company is paid in Euros into my French account via the Paris office which declares it to the French tax authorities. My UK state pension is paid into my UK account but is also taxed here, not in the UK. I seem to recall when I first qualified for the UK state pension that they asked me if I would like it paid in Euros into my French bank account or in sterling into my UK account. I opted for the UK to cover expenses là-bas but it is still taxable here.

June, you'll find a lot of useful info and links on CMU and other social security issues on the Useful Links page.

depends on edf usually, otherwise the crystal balls don't work...

Cate, I am a consultant working on a 'one off' (at a time) contract basis. Publications are very different because I have professional affiliations, plus a life fellowship of a Cambridge college and use those as and when required. We mainly do evaluations, rapid appraisals, reviews, programme and policy planning, training, capacity building and 'stuff' like that under the mantle of research. At present I am working on an annotated bibliography for OUP online and should have another in the new year. That counts as research (don't, please don't comment). My OH ditto, in terms of what she does.

We are classified in the 'liberal professions'. Peer reviewed work in the social sciences and human rights fields are not as rigourously controlled by 'memberships' as your field, probably rightly, so most of our journals accept things on a track record basis. For instance, OH and I have one we are working on for the International Journal of Children's Rights which is edited by a Uni of London law prof, but most of our peer reviewers know us personally - me especially with about 30 years association and even work with some of them. We do not, as fortune would have it, need hard scientific evidence, simply documentary (bibliographic, original sourced citation with permissions and similar) reference. Doing actual, especially field based, research with proper funding is at present as easy to find as hen's teeth.

Ask more as and when, but probably better you find somebody in your field to tap into.

Don't Carol. There is a problem with French officials not knowing about the EQF but within the entire EEA, qualifications MUST be taken in terms of equivalence, including in France. David's wife is from outside the EEA and we are not concerned with USA matters. 'Not recognised' does not exist. I have advised plenty of people to print out the EQF in their own language (e.g. English) and French and then slap the latter on officials' desks and tell them to get up to speed. My wife and I both have doctorates we have been told do not count in France and proven every single person who has said that wrong. In the UK, on one of your points, there are people with all manner of degrees up to doctorates doing manual work because the regulations for the unemployed foist that on them, so a tit-for-tat 'France is worse' case does not wash.

So, since none of this helps with foncieres, and has gone full circle, let's assume everybody has had their bill and has no choice other than to pay and let's wait to see what the discussion/debate is next year.

I get a little vexed about the 'not recognised' aspect of qualifications; there is an unspoken statement that the training in France is in some way superior; certainly with the members of Europe that needs ironing out....we are supposed to be a union...but some more so than others....! I hear of so many people with very good qualifications doing manual work...when its because of language then I can understand the reasoning...but its often not the case. The US require for instance, that nurses undertake an exam, the same exam their nurses take...if they pass, they are in. That should hold good for all qualifications....there are not multiple ways to add up for an accountant..should be able to sit an accountancy exam and if they pass...they can work...simples!

My wife works too- I am now a house husband at the ripe old age of 67! The only work she can get up here is agroalimentaire (unmentionable producing 100% halal chickens for export to the Middle East). She has a teaching degree, but not recognised here in France! The UK will at the moment not let her in unless I move too and that would cause utter chaos and expense. We have considered moving to the Far East, where she comes from, but the medical care on her island is troublesome. Life's complexities! School for our daughter here is great though- and free!

oh dear....which makes it even less likely that we are going to find a buyer this side of 2050! cheery start to the weekend...just as well I am going back to Blighty to work...sounds like my OH will need the income!

We got a refund too of about 150 euros- very welcome. However I suggest you read a summary of the 2013 budget changes announced yesterday, of which there is a summary on Le Figaro website, before you blow the lot. It suggests that the overall income tax take will be raised 23%, ISF will be TREBLED, income tax on dividends increased to the level of general income tax and autoentrepreneur cotisations reductions removed to align with general entrepreneur levels. Yea it was foreseen that what they shall give with one hand shall be taken several times over by the other. Interesting statistic- housing start target in France 500k per annum, in the UK<100k. Tax on let property was also increased to 35.5% of net rents in the early summer too. Meanwhile the staff at Brittany Ferries have been on strike all week rendering exports of agricultural produce much more expensive and causing a severe impasse in the end of season tourist business in France. A deceased expat's funeral ceremony has also had to be delayed as the family can't get over. husband worked for a private medical company...he is a doctor. His pension is from that company and the NHS and a small pension from BA which were all taxed at source...but, we were advised as he is now domiciled here....that France, not the UK gets the tax. Its been agreed with the UK, and France is taxing my OH on this. We were advised by both UK and French accountants that this is the correct procedure.

Post has just been, OH made me sit down and read a letter that arrived then showed me the attachment. A repayment of well over 1k because we are both AEs and our income has been so low for two years! We make a point of paying 'something' each quarter instead of having zero returns and this is the outcome. Now we can pay the fonciere and have some hundreds change. Almost too good to be true! And today whilst this post is going on. It pays to be honest, too honest and to keep communication open and clean with them all which we do. So, despite some posts it is not all take, take, take here...

June, sorry if this is obvious, but do your research first and then write your situation down on a piece of paper, your income and what you are applying for before you go to the Hôtel des Impôts. It's easier if you have got it in front of you (and for them too). My local office are really nice. Go in with a smile. I don't know about your French, apparently I have my own version of the language, which nobody else speaks, but I get brownie points there for trying. (They won't give you the time of day if you go in speaking English, unless you're really lucky.)

Go to the CPAM site for info on the CMU complimentary medicine or whatever it is called, plus the TSS (Tarif Sociale Solidarite, the reduction on the electricity and gas bills). I am sure that there are details on that site. Plus, if you are not getting your Winter Fuel Allowance from the UK, you can now apply for it under the new EU ruling, worth another £200 pa to you.(Check out a previous blog post on this.). But if you get your 100 euro rebate on your taxes foncières, you should automatically be exempted from the taxes d'habitation and television licence. I am assuming that you make a tax declaration already each year to the Hôtel des Impôts. I wonder why their computer hasn't already picked up that your income falls below the low income threshold to trigger a TF rebate? Any way, good luck!

oh well...the answer appears to be no! though it was worth a try. Thank you for this.