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Everything posted by Suzyq

  1. Yes, I think everyone has fallen into this trap, whether intentionally or not.  There are some worrying rumours locally for those on both sides, one where a quite prominent family man has been questioned by the gendarmes and an announcement on a local radio station that the gendarmes are bringing in 4 extra bodies to deal specifically with the local black labour problem in the building trade. And yes, there are fixed, estimated costs each month/quarter for the first 2 years trading, but you can ask for a reduction in these if your income is really below the limit they are set at,  Urssaf actually send a letter out now inviting you to do this.  The costs aren't lost as if by the third year you have shown in accounts that income was lower the first 2 years are readjusted to reflect this and you may find you are paying nothing for a while, while you catch up or even get a refund. If you want to work in France there is no way round it, the social charges are high, but the income tax is low.  Planning before hand and making sure you have sufficient resources to cover this start up period is the only way to proceed.  It is after all the same for French people as well as us immigrants. Suze
  2. I checked with our accountant and chambre des metiers a few years ago re the exact same question.  The answer came back No; the taxman doesn't recognise labour swops. Youe biggest problem will be if he seen working on you home when you aren't there and a check is run on his papers; you may find yourself in trouble as well if any proof comes to light it's not such a friendly arrangement.  I think the most important problem is if he has an accident, regardless of the fiscal side of things, how will your insurance company deal with it, if he does make a claim on you.  Let's face it even the oldest friendships can fall apart if something untoward happens and how long have you known this chap? If you don't have a french social security number you can't use cheque emploi, but is there a reason why he won't register as a micro enterprise and bring things into line for everyone he does odd jobs for? Suze
  3. The following links may help you http://www.microsoft.com/france/entrepreneur/creation/page8.htm http://www.apce.com On the latter you can go onto their forum or email them direct for a reply to a specific question.  A visit to to your chambre des metiers or commerce can be useful and in some areas they now have an agent who speaks english if that is useful to you. Suze
  4. Dave, you don't say what you are doing.  For instance general gardening or a little household maintenance; but not building works; will come under the scheme.  It's the householder who applies and if they choose the right system for you they pay the social charges.  And yes, not everyone wants or even can apply.  But the advantage to the householder is that they can have an extra tax allowance to cover some or all of the cost, so it can work well for them to do it; I've been on both ends and it it a good system for domestic workers. The cotisations are a heavy burden for everyone in France, I think the micro system can be less fair than the full TvA system. In the first couple of years they are estimated and if that estimate actually is more than what you should pay on what you earned you will eventually either pay a lot less, or nothing for a year to catch up or even get a refund.  You can ask them to reduce the estimates if you have a proper record of what you earned and are likely to earn , but they will extract interest if you estimate too low a figure. Good luck Suze
  5. Suzyq

    Not no mo!

    It's a shame to give up! Why don't you have just a couple of small raised beds next year and plant a few salady mixes - the ones you pay over the odds for in the shops. Also miniature veg for just one serving. You can get a lot out of a small area doing it this way and keeping it planted. You can raise the bed by using planks or bricks and fill it with good soil to start with. Watering is easy and you could even automate it. Suze
  6. Suzyq

    Duck poop

    All poultry poop is a good heater up of heaps; but it needs quite a lot to make it worth while. I have huge amounts of duck and goose poop; what won't go on the heaps I pile in with the sheep manure and rot for a year. Have also bagged it and let it fester for 6 months - popped this on a deep bed and planted the pumpkins and squashes in it - coming up so much of a treat they are threatening to take over. Suze
  7. You can try minitel on 3617VERIF or you can ring or email their local CCI or chambres des metiers http://www.acfci.cci.fr/annuaire/repertoire.asp http://www.apcm.com/annuaires/ to find the one for the address you are searching. Suze
  8. You can, but make sure they are from a reputable source and you're not importing virus and other diseases. We brought in bramley and a James greeves; neither fared very well in our climate and soil. I now stick to local varieties which are good producers here. Suze
  9. M Reynard and his many offspring are having a successful year. We've learnt up to now! to live in harmony with him....but no longer. Broad daylight and always just after I've gone out, he nips over and whisks away just one duck. Not too fussed on my chickens, prefers a nice plump duck. Doesn't bother at night anymore and has jumped leccy fence before now. Chasse say they cannot do anything and I should lay in wait a shoot him; say I wouldn't be prosecuted if I did it out of season, but what if I shot a neighbours cow instead? and where do I get a gun? Our field orchard is now in the process of "operation fortress orchard" What next? Suze
  10. >We are currently looking to buy >a hotel just outside Toulouse >and have received brief details >of the hotel's turnover. >Firstly, it states that they >take 27,000 euros for >breakfasts for the year with >the cost for supplying this >at 5,750 euros. Looks >like a terrific mark up >to me, could this be >right? Food does give a good mark up especially a simple meal like a breakfast. There are questions to be asked: How many rooms and what capacity do they have and what % bookings over the year. What do they serve (possibly just coffee, roll, butter and jam)and how much do they charge for a breakfast - at an average of say 5euros a head this is nearly 15 a day throughout the year at a cost of just over 1euro; does the hotel have this capacity or number of lettings? Have you seen the tarif charges - you can then work out the number and the profit from each one and what they serve to see if it is realistic and whether it ties in with the room lettings - it should equal or be less if breakfast is charged separately. The only time you can have more breakfasts than room capacity will be if they serve it to the general public as well as residents. > > >Secondly, the hotel is showing a >profit of 117,000 euros before >tax and after deducting all >overheads and runing costs. I >have tried and failed to >find what the tax burden >would be on this sum >and wonder if anyone could >give me an idea. I >will have to consult an >accountant in the near future >but do not want to >start racking up charges until >we see the property early >next month. We estimate at present that our social charges and tax burden to be around 54%; but the actual tax will depend on your own family circumstances and the higher rates kick in quite quickly as profits go up. > > Suze
  11. Goes with the territory I'm afraid and not just with b&b. It's your place - you make the rules. We make sure that everyone is told on confirmation that we anticipate first night arrivals between 1600 and 1900 and to make sure they let us know if it is to be earlier or later. GdF advise that if no show or no contact by 1900; you are free to relet the room and the deposit is forfeit - haven't gone down that route yet. We've had guests arrive late but very contrite due to transport difficulties; they were lucky we stayed in, but you aren't obliged; you have a life. So far only 2 no shows - late bookers so no deposit, and one of those did phone to let us know albeit at 10pm; by which time we'd given them up anyway, but the wine had made me more mellow than 2 hours earlier If you put it in writing in your confirmation letter; they have only themselves to blame if you aren't on hand 24/7. Mostly I find folk are considerate; as usual it's the odd few that make life difficult. Suze
  12. LAST EDITED ON 08-Jul-04 AT 09:02 AM (BST) Now you are set up you must attend to the beaurocracy and admin side before you get your fingers burnt. Have a look at the regs applying: http://www3.ccip.fr/inforeg/fiches/pdf/table_hote.pdf. http://www3.ccip.fr/inforeg/fiches/pdf/chambres_hote.pdf. What you do for your fiscal regime has been the subject of huge discussion here; I think we are agreed that you need a licence for drinks! You can put more than one business type on your chambre de commerce inscription so for example you might put property services and your bed and breakfast and tables d'hotes all on the same inscription. Don't forget you need proper insurance, not just normal householders insurance and fire extinquishers as well. Suze
  13. Reading through some of the recent contributions after a bit of an absence; what are your thoughts on this abysmal pest. I have virtually given up growing main crop potatoes; except in a barrel, as I simply don't have the time to keep picking the blighters off; with blight following hot on the heels. Organically derris (rotenene) is allowed but to what quantity; surely just the occasional dusting won't keep them at bay. A friend swears by tagetes interplanted. I read that in america they use aubergines as a sacrificial crop; but I think I prefer them anyway - in any event our beetles didn't seem to bother it too much. Also heard about letting guinea fowl forage amongst the tatties. Suze
  14. Almost certainly his employers will have been given guidelines on the treatment of payments to staff. Planning is the key to reducing your tax burden, as you can't change things with hindsight; but you can plan the number of days spent in and out of a country. try these links for further info: http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/menus/non-residents.htm You can download leaflets or have them posted http://www.service-public.fr/etranger/english.html http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/ARBO/NX13.html Suze
  15. My first trip to Metro went quite well, reasonably impressed with quality and prices. Has anyone actually done a comprehensive comparison; to see if it really does work out cheaper to use the Cash and Carry. Where are the good ones, does any one use Promo-cash? Suze
  16. LAST EDITED ON 03-Jul-04 AT 03:24 PM (BST) If your French is up to it; there are books available and lots of helpful advice on http://www.apce.com the library is at http://www.apce.com/index.php?rubrique_id=25&type_page=I Is there anything in particular that you are looking for? Suze
  17. It can be useful as well if you haven't set up a business before as they explain about the regimes, insurance etc.. You can get a dispensation like we did from having to attend. We had to provide evidence that we had run the same sort of business in Uk; we produced a letter from our UK accountant, our last company accounts, our last copy of our VAT return and a couple of invoices from our suppliers and invoices copies we had sent to customers. When satisfied the Chambre des Metiers sent us a letter telling us we had a dispensation and they then issued us a Siret etc. Suze
  18. From experience not until after 15th May; but even then they may need watching ie covering with fleece or taking in until after the 1st June. I can't remember ever having a frost in June but can right up until the mid month full moon in May between 12th to 15th and boy was it a hard one. Watch your forecast http://www.meteo.fr click on meteo france, choose haute-vienne, then click on the thermometer and from the pop-up choose your nearest town. You get a 4 day forecast and it's quite good. Suze
  19. I serve up the following: orange juice - in a jug so they can help themselves tea or coffee or chocolate in pots; for about 3 cups each but they can have more if they want muesli or grapefruit or dried fruit compote or fresh fruit salad (whatever I feel like that am) croissants, home made rolls, toast butter, home made marmalade/jam usually a choice of 2 or 3 selection of one portion cheeses If they want I'll do them a boiled egg or porridge but that's about all for cooking in the morning. Suze
  20. LAST EDITED ON 29-Mar-04 AT 05:47 PM (GMT) People using your water rather than theirs are often prone to waste, we have found that 200litres gives min 4 showers, can get away with 6 if they're careful. This includes bowls of hot water for washing hands etc. This is on just heating up over night and not during the day. It will also depend on the temperature setting; a low temp will mean they use more hot to cold water. When we have a lot of summer visitors we just leave it on all the time and have never had a problem. Our water is very soft and acid and our chauffe eau is expected to last about 7 years before it corrodes; check with your water supplier what type you have and make sure you get an appropriate heater and protection if available eg for hard water. More build up less efficiency. Seems a huge amount of money did you really mean 13,000, 200l heaters are relatively cheap. Suze
  21. My 77 year old mum is coming for at least a month again in the summer; what's the best way to get her covered for her flight insurance and health while she's here. Suze
  22. There is a land qualification to register as an agriculteur, it does change but I think is about 21hectares. It is more advantageous to be a farmer as the cotisations and tax breaks are much more generous. It would not allow you to work as a builder say as well; for that you would have to register at chambre des metiers. It is difficult for one person to have 2 registrations; usually one member of the household has one and another the other type. You would pay 2 lots of cotisations but not tax; as you would be taxed on the whole family income anyway. Suze
  23. Those of you with GdF have probably had this alert from the gendarmerie sent to Gites de France about a chap travelling the country and conning b&b and gites with stolen cheques. They use the term "cambriolage escroqueries". Kissed the blarney stone apparently and is thought to be headed for the Vaucluse. He is alone, or has a couple of cats one is called Diva. He is about 35 to 40, French, white and has been driving a Ford Fusion 6795 WT 26 If you do have the unfortunate chance to be contacted by him or have him in your accomodation; the Gendarmerie at Mayenne have asked to be notified 02 43 09 15 00 or 02 43 09 65 33 Suze
  24. Those of you with GdF have probably had this alert from the gendarmerie sent to Gites de France about a chap travelling the country and conning b&b and gites with stolen cheques. They use the term "cambriolage escroqueries". Kissed the blarney stone apparently and is thought to be headed for the Vaucluse. He is alone, or has a couple of cats one is called Diva. He is about 35 to 40, French, white and has been driving a Ford Fusion 6795 WT 26 If you do have the unfortunate chance to be contacted by him or have him in your accomodation; the Gendarmerie at Mayenne have asked to be notified 02 43 09 15 00 or 02 43 09 65 33 Suze
  25. > >1. Only 2 bedrooms to >let - yes I need >to register, no I don'T! > >If you supply and change the linen, clean the rooms, give breakfast you strictly should register. > >>3. Who and what is >Recette Locales Des Douanes. >Is it part of the >Impots? Part of customs they deal with licences for liquor and food > >4. What do we have >to pay for impots - >we had large outgoings for >setting up and advertising, therefore >not going to make much >profit. There has been >mention of anything from 43 >euros to 2,500 euros! Impots covers personal taxes and TVA, eg income tax and capital gains. A lot of your outlay will have been capital, but you should keep the receipts and a detailed breakdown for later when/if you sell up. Anything that isn't capital you may be able to bring in against your first year's income - check with your local impots or an accountant. You pay these taxes on your actual profit. The usual problem is that you spend money on setting up before you actually start in business. > >5. Mensuel payments - this >is tax taken monthly, is >that right? Normally but can in practice cover payments made over 2, 3 or 6 months as well. > >6. Micro-bic - is this >the right tax regime, and >do I read it right >that we can claim up >to 70% allowances against profit? There is still debate about this, some seem to be able to do it, others are having to use micro-enterprise. > > >> >8. Do I presume that >'petite' and 'grand' is a >classification depending on how many >letting bedrooms you have? No this is the licence depending on what you serve in the way of drinks. Suze
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