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Everything posted by freddy

  1. 70.50 seems a lot to pay for the results of a multiple choice questionnaire. Here's my own questionnaire: 1 - Were you born (a) a long time ago, (b) yesterday? 2 - Would you describe yourself as (a) gullible, (b) worldly? 3 - Do you often fall for internet scams? (a) always, (b) never Please send your answers to me along with 50 to me for a definitive character profile which will change your life, or at least your bank balance!
  2. >ALL THE GROCERIES YOU >LIKE for a one off >delivery charge to your door >of 21.99(each order > The idea is good, but delivery sounds a bit steep. >Or of course send a >box of chocolates to Nan >who is still in the >UK. http://www.thorntons.co.uk/ express delivery (guaranteed next day) is 4.99 for the UK
  3. It is far from certain that the UK will join the Euro in 2004/5 or in the next ten years. As to the level that it will join at, that too can be nothing more than a guess. There are far too many uncertainties to make a meaningful estimate. There are also some factors which are likely to encourage Sterling to strengthen including the likely outperformance of the UK economy relative to its European neighbours, and the potential dilution of the Euro when the new group of weaker member states are integrated. The possibility of reduced European trade arising from France/Germany's dispute with the US would also benefit Sterling Frankly were the UK to join, it could just as easily be at 1.75 as 1.25. If it was a one-way bet it would be simple for currency speculators to profit from it. There are no one-way bets in a free market, only when someone is artificially supporting it (like 1992 ERM). The current level of the currency takes into account the chances of an early entry. It is all too easy to see a market trend and assume that it will continue, but numerous stock-market crashes should remind us that most things don't go one way for ever.
  4. There is an annual CGT free allowance on share sales of E 7,650 worth of gain, so this would enable you to sell some of your shares over a number of years without hitting the limit. If for example you also hold some poorly performing tech-stocks, you could sell those at a loss and offset the loss against your other gains over the following five years. Assuming you have the right to sell all your stocks currently without penalty, you could do this whilst still in the UK, and repurchase at the same price (possibly losing the bid-offer spread) and any gain made whilst in France would be measured against this new higher level. This is particularly appropriate if you feel the stocks are presently under-valued and it would allow you to liquidate more quickly in the future.
  5. I have just read that for wealth tax purposes (and other property taxes), the property value that has to be declared (less 20%) is not the market one, but the Valeur Cadastrale. I have the 'Taxation in France 2002' book, and even that doesn't mention this fact. Can anyone tell me if this official value tends to be higher or lower than the market value, and how it might be assessed?
  6. CHAPS is a system that only works for sterling transfers. There is a Euro equivalent called TARGET (Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross settlement Express Transfer) which you should insist that Natwest use as it takes a matter of seconds for the cleared funds to arrive. I have used TARGET in the past when buying cars in Germany and Belgium, and although the system works perfectly, the recipient banks are sometimes not clued-up enough to realise that the funds have arrived. So ask Natwest to give you the transfer number, and get the notaire to call his bank with this number.
  7. You would be taxed by your bank in the UK at 20%, but the Inland Revenue would expect you to submit a Tax Return and your UK liability could be higher than this if the interest amount takes you well into the higher rate band (or lower if it is a smaller amount due to the banding structure). The French would also expect you to declare this worldwide income, and would tax you also if you declared it. You would however be able to offset your UK tax against your French liability under the Double Taxation Treaty, so effectively as French income tax is generally higher you will end up paying the French rate. Another consideration is that it would form a part of your taxable wealth from the French point of view and if your worldwide declared wealth (with a few exceptions) is over EUR 720,000, you would be taxed again on some of the capital, rather than just the interest.
  8. There are exchange costs unfortunately as you have to cross their dealing price (bid/offer spread) but Citibank are relatively competetive and tend to charge less than 1% from mid-market. They also have a very good internet banking set-up and have even learnt how to pick up the phone these days (used to be up to 30 mins wait). They will charge you monthly fees if your overall balance with them in all currencies averages below around 2k I think. I used to have an account with Citibank in Paris as well, but found them to be hopeless. When I was asked for evidence of salary - I suggested they spoke to Citibank in London where I have banked for years, but they would not speak to each other! I would recommend Citibank in the UK though. Cater Allen were a tiny UK private bank, but I believe that they were acquired by Abbey National a few years ago, and are fully guaranteed by them, which is particularly important to avoid a Barings-type problem.
  9. I understand from what I've read that the value of your main home is included in wealth tax calculations. Does anyone know how this works in practice? Do they assume that your house is worth what you originally paid for it (perhaps adjusted for inflation), or is there some form of regular assessment? Thanks
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