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martinetchris

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Everything posted by martinetchris

  1. John

    Yes, we've always used Hivernage and found it to be worth using in keepin the pol sweet for the next season.

    As for other steps (copying a previous posting) :

    We've found the following works OK for us :

    - give the pool a good last vacuum/clean
    - backwash/clean both filters
    - throw in a bottle of "Hivernage" chemicals that help keep it sweet over the winter
    - reduce the water levels as you suggest : to as low a level as you can before the skimmers start drawing air
    - drain the filters and leave pipes from filters to pool "open" to help them drain as much as poss
    - leave tops off the filters for same reason
    - put a plastic mineral water bottle (half filled with stones) in each skimmer to help prevent damage in the event of freezing
    - buy and secure a really good quality winter cover/tarpaulin, it may cost a bit (I think ours was 400 - 500 for an 11x5m pool) but nothing compared to the cost of the pool ! Also, buy one with individual straps/bands securing it in place - therefore if one goes bust in a storm the rest should remain in place. Our old one just had one rope that threaded all around the cover, so when one bit frayed/broke in the tempete the entire cover flew off !! A summer blanket is no good in our view : won't keep all the dirt out and will fly off at the first decent storm !

    Good luck !

    Best wishes

    Chris and Martin
  2. Hear hear !

    Eleanor does a difficult job with (sometimes) difficult people on her back (and yes, we'd include ourselves in that sometimes - none of us are perfect !)

    Keep up the good work, Eleanor

    Chris and Martin
  3. Steve

    As far as we are aware, the regulations as to what constitutes an approved "safety device" have not been decided - including what specification any fencing would need to be, nor whether indeed other devices (e.g. alarms) are to be acceptable.

    If anyone knows otherwise, we'd be delighted to hear !

    We're waiting to see definitive evidence of the required specifications before jumping in (so to speak ...) on the back of what some salesperson says !

    We've copied below a recent e-mail we received from Francedirect (also printed in French News) which seems to reinforce this position :

    Swimming Pool Owners BEWARE!

    Says Chris Harrison of Christal Pools

    As a swimming pool owner you must have been involved in various discussions about pool safety.

    What is right and what is wrong?
    The French law regarding this issue, was passed in January 2003, and stated that any 'new' pool installed after 1st January 2004 must be fenced.
    An 'existing' pool, at a property that is rented, should be fenced from January 2004.
    All 'private' pools should be fenced from January1st 2006.
    The penalty for non-compliance is a 45,000 fine.
    The Law also states that the 'Normalisation' or, standards for fencing will be agreed within three months of the law being passed. To the best of my knowledge, this has not been the case. To view the published details, look at this web address http://www.assembleenationale.fr/12/propositions/pion0234.asp.

    After many hours of phone calls and emails it seems that details of the new standard has still not been decided.

    The existing 'standard', XP P90-306, is experimental and dates back to July 2002. see www.afnor.fr

    Most fencing companies will quote this as being the standard for the fences that need to be installed to comply with the new Law. This may be correct for now.BUT

    The standard XP P90-306 also states that Observations relating to the present experimental standard must be addressed to AFNOR before 30th November 2004.

    After questioning AFNOR and also talking to one of the largest British tour operators to France, it seems that the experimental standards could be changed, and if it is, any fence installed to the old norm will have to be modified or changed to comply.

    Therefore, pool companies can only quote the experimental standards,!!!!

    Fencing companies can only quote the experimental standards !!!

    It is perhaps possible that the standards will not change in which case, we will all be able to breath a sigh of relief.

    Many feel that the standards will not be changed but, the fact is, we simply do not know and will not know until such time as the relevant authorities officially tell us so.

    As a representative of Christal Pools, a company of over 10 years standing in the French market, as well as an owner of rental properties in France, I find it hard to give the correct advice to pool owners.

    So I say, be very careful when a salesman offers you a fence to the XP P90-306 standard. Fencing is expensive and will be even more so if it needs to be modified or changed. if you would like us to update you on any changes or have any questions please email [email protected] or [email protected]



    Regards

    Pete Harrison

    FranceDirect.com
  4. Dear LF

    As a follow-on to the discussion on the Travelling to France section about being flagged down on the motorways :

    Is there any "Code of Conduct" for the forum ?

    If so should it not contain at a minimum the requirement for users to show each other courtesy and respect, and basic civilised rules such as no racist content.

    If there is no such Code, there ought to be !

    If LF are concerned how to police that, I suggest they seek the advice of someone like the Commission for Racial Equality.

    After all, not publishing racist comments is hardly rocket science in the 21st century, is it ?

    Best wishes

    Chris
  5. Folks

    and for anyone who's interested in alternatives to the thinly veiled tabloids of the Murdoch Times/Sunday Times :

    Guardian Weekly - weekly newspaper available in France by subscription, includes extracts from La Monde and Washington Post :

    www.guardianweekly.co.uk

    Guardian on-line, with free news e-mail subscriptions :

    www.guardianunlimited.co.uk

    Financial Times on-line, with free news e-mail subscriptions :

    www.ft.com

    Expatica.com, with free English language e-mails of latest headline news in France :

    www.expatica.com/france.asp

    Hope some of above may be of interest !

    Best wishes

    Chris and Martin


  6. Folks

    and for anyone who's interested in alternatives to the thinly veiled tabloids of the Murdoch Times/Sunday Times :

    Guardian Weekly - weekly newspaper available in France by subscription, includes extracts from La Monde and Washington Post :

    www.guardianweekly.co.uk

    Guardian on-line, with free news e-mail subscriptions :

    www.guardianunlimited.co.uk

    Financial Times on-line, with free news e-mail subscriptions :

    www.ft.com

    Expatica.com, with free English language e-mails of latest headline news in France :

    www.expatica.com/france.asp

    Hope some of above may be of interest !

    Best wishes

    Chris and Martin


  7. Folks

    and for anyone who's interested in alternatives to the thinly veiled tabloids of the Murdoch Times/Sunday Times :

    Guardian Weekly - weekly newspaper available in France by subscription, includes extracts from La Monde and Washington Post :

    www.guardianweekly.co.uk

    Guardian on-line, with free news e-mail subscriptions :

    www.guardianunlimited.co.uk

    Financial Times on-line, with free news e-mail subscriptions :

    www.ft.com

    Expatica.com, with free English language e-mails of latest headline news in France :

    www.expatica.com/france.asp

    Hope some of above may be of interest !

    Best wishes

    Chris and Martin


  8. Folks

    and for anyone who's interested in alternatives to the thinly veiled tabloids of the Murdoch Times/Sunday Times :

    Guardian Weekly - weekly newspaper available in France by subscription, includes extracts from La Monde and Washington Post :

    www.guardianweekly.co.uk

    Guardian on-line, with free news e-mail subscriptions :

    www.guardianunlimited.co.uk

    Financial Times on-line, with free news e-mail subscriptions :

    www.ft.com

    Expatica.com, with free English language e-mails of latest headline news in France :

    www.expatica.com/france.asp

    Hope some of above may be of interest !

    Best wishes

    Chris and Martin


  9. Hannah

    Our suggestions would be :

    1. Do a search on the LF site - there's been loads of discussions on just these subjects.

    2. Buy "Taxation in France" published by Pannell Kerr Forster (Guernsey). It will answer all these questions and more besides - all for about 25 !

    www.pkfguernsey.com/

    From our experience, if you are French resident :

    - you can't "choose" to pay tax on one kind of income in one country rather than the other - the respective tax regimes dictate which income you declare and/or pay tax on in which country.

    The Double Taxation Treaty ensures you don't have to pay income tax on the same income twice (e.g. enabling you to state on your UK tax return that you haven't declared certain specified income as you're resident in France and the income is taxable in France).

    However it doesn't cover French social contributions (10% above allowances) or CMU (8% above allowances)

    - UK rental income is taxed in UK but not income taxed in France. However, it is taken into account in France in assessing your overall tax rate and in CMU contributions (but not social contributions). What expenses (e.g. mortgage interest) can be offset against income for French purposes can depend on whether the Uk property is furnished or unfurnished.

    - French Gite income is taxed in France but not UK. It is also subject to French social contributions and is taken into account for CMU purposes also

    Of course, we're not tax experts, so don't take our word for the above - others may well (will ?) have different views/experiences. At the end of the day, buy the book and get expert advice !

    Good luck !

    Chris and Martin
  10. LAST EDITED ON 02-Feb-03 AT 11:07 AM (GMT)

    Folks

    I believe the CMU website now has a new address :

    http://www.ameli.fr

    Best wishes

    Chris and Martin
  11. LAST EDITED ON 02-Feb-03 AT 11:07 AM (GMT)

    Folks

    I believe the CMU website now has a new address :

    http://www.ameli.fr

    Best wishes

    Chris and Martin
  12. Hi

    Having been in a not dissimilar position :

    Just before our E106s expired, we wrote to the CPAM to whom we'd submitted our E106s in the first place and asked what to do.

    Basically we just completed our CMU (Couverture mdicale universelle) application forms available on the CMU website :

    www.ameli.fr/

    We sent copies of all the papers requested, and a few weeks later got our new Attestations of CMU cover stating the extension of our previous Cartes Vitale.

    If your income exceeds a certain amount then you may have to pay 8% towards the CMU depending on the forms of income, but it's a small price to pay. When you get to state retirement age you no longer have to pay.

    Easy ... well sometimes !

    Good luck

    Chris and Martin
  13. Hear Hear !

    Thanks Eleanor !

    Bonne Annee !

    Chris and Martin
  14. Hi !

    We've used Pannell Kerr Forster (Guernsey) for 3 years now, both to give general guidance/reports upon our French tax liabilities and to complete our French tax returns for us. They're not cheap, but we've found them to be efficient, specific and detailed in their advice - and they speak plain english (most of the time - so far as French tax allows !).

    Without wishing to plug their book for the millionth time on the LF site : their annually published "Taxation in France" book is excellent value at about 25.

    Web : www.pkfguernsey.com

    E-mail : [email protected]

    Address : PO Box 296
    Sarnia House
    Le Truchot
    St.Peter Port
    Guernsey GY1 4NA

    Phone no. : +44 (0) 1481 727927

    Fax no. : +44 (0) 1481 710511

    Hope above helps ... now I must get back to the thrilling job of compiling 4 UK and French tax returns !!

    Best wishes

    Chris and Martin
  15. Peter

    Can I second TeamedUp thanks - in particular the details of the legislation (with sources/references) helps to clarify things no end !

    Best wishes

    Chris and Martin
  16. Nick

    I agree - it can get very confusing !

    One simple thing that does help is when people start their response with the name of the person they are responding to - at least then you can see who is responding to what !

    It also has the advantage of being polite and reminding ourselves that there is a human being at the other end of our response, not just a computer !

    Best wishes

    Chris
  17. LAST EDITED ON 13-Nov-02 AT 09:55 AM (GMT)

    mjc

    Thanks for this - always interesting to see different perspectives on an issue !

    By way of example, the following are the figures quoted by PKF in "Taxation in France 2001" (I repeat - I don't have shares in PKF !!). The figures are sourced from 1997 so may/will have changed since, and are NOT percentages of taxation levied upon individuals, but are levels of taxation as a percentage of gross national product :

    Country : total taxes (incl income tax; corporation tax; social security; capital taxes and VAT)

    France : 46.1%
    Germany : 37.5%
    UK : 35.3%
    USA : 28.5%
    Japan : 28.4%

    The biggest difference between France and UK was to be found in Social security (19.2% and 6.0% respectively). Figures for income tax are 6.8% and 9.1% respectively.

    Perhaps a statistician or economist amongst us can tell us what a comparison of the two sets of figures reveal !

    Thanks again

    Best wishes

    Chris and Martin
  18. According to PKF Guernsey's "Taxation in France" book (buy it if you haven't already done so : http://www.pkfguernsey.com/) - page 259 of the 2001 edition states :

    "Under Article 18 of the France - UK double income tax treaty, the right to tax pensions (other than pensions paid in respect of government service) is given to the country of residence of the taxpayer ... a pension in respect of government service is taxable only in the country of source, and therefore a former resident of the UK who retires to France will continue to pay UK tax on his (sic) pension for UK government service."

    I guess (but don't know - I'm no pension/taxation expert !) - that a police pension is therefore classed as arising from "government service".

    I strongly recommend getting the PKF book (covers all taxation issues you will face, not just pension) - it's an excellent example of the need to ask the experts !

    best wishes

    Chris and Martin

    By the way - if anyone reading this knows whether an NHS pension is classed as "arising from government service", please can you let me know !

    Secondly, if one is forced to transfer one's pension fund from the NHS scheme to a personal pension plan (in order to safeguard the interests of one's gay partner of 20 years standing who under the NHS pension scheme, in the event of one's death a week after leaving the NHS, wouldn't receive one penny from one's pension fund, unlike a married partner of 2 days standing ...), does that personal pension then count as "arising from government service" ?. I suspect not.
  19. LAST EDITED ON 06-Nov-02 AT 06:16 PM (GMT)

    Why not apply for social security/CMU registration now ? Well, as soon as you've got your CDSejour, which you have to apply for within 3 months if arriving anyway ?

    E111 should cover in meantime as you can be merely "on holiday" and not resident - and were fine for our CDS application (if indeed we needed to submit them at all, which I can't remember now)

    In fact, if my memory serves me well (we were in similar position to you, but with E106s that expire at end of this year), you HAVE to do so (register) once your E111/E106 expires - and of course pay the 8% on most income.

    Then just take out top-up health cover.

    Best wishes

    Chris and Martin
  20. LAST EDITED ON 03-Nov-02 AT 12:57 PM (GMT)

    When we were preparing to move to France, we received contradictory advice re French taxation of the lump sum, so Pannell Kerr Forster (Guernsey) checked with the French authorities (not sure who).

    The advice they received was that the UK lump sums would NOT suffer any French taxation even if the payee is already resident in France. They asked for written confirmation and I will check with them whether this was ever received.

    But if you have the choice, the safest thing would appear to be to take the lump sum BEFORE becoming French resident, if you can !

    Even if it does prove to be French taxable, perhaps the effects can be reduced if you take the lump sum over a number of years (e.g. through an income drawdown pension) ? However, we are NOT experts in this area - so suggest anyone directly affected should take their own expert financial advice !!

    Chris and Martin

    PS Have just checked PKF's "Taxation in France" book (the edition published in 2001, so a bit old now) - which we have highly recommended to LF readers on many occassions ! Page 260, section 24.1.4 states :

    "In principle, and subject to the terms of double taxation treaties, the French authorities will allow a taxpayer to repatriate his (sic) lump sum to France free from any French tax. Nevertheless, as the French pensions system does not normally allow tax-free lump sums, this remains a grey area and it is thus advisable to seek prior advice on the matter."

    They also reiterate the advice on it being best to take it before becoming French resident, if possible.
  21. Tim

    Great idea !

    Our contributions (some duplications - sorry !) :

    Some of our past/present links to interesting (some less than others !) French and UK websites :

    British Embassy/Consular Services in France (very useful summaries and links about lots of things, including tax, inheritance, health, residence, pets passports etc) :
    http://www.amb-grandebretagne.fr/consular_services/index.jsp?folder_id=104132&folder_id_parent=196

    Guide to public services (some in English) :
    http://www.service-public.fr/etranger/english.html

    Prefecture of Charente Maritime :
    http://www.charente-maritime.pref.gouv.fr/

    European Commission :
    http://europa.eu.int/europedirect/en/index_en.html

    Couverture Medicales Universelle (CMU) :
    http://www.cnamts.fr/ass/cmu/somcmu.htm

    CPAM for Charente Maritime (French social security, incl CMU) :
    http://www.cpam-larochelle.fr/

    Charente Maritime Tourism :
    http://www.charente-maritime.org/

    French electricity board :
    http://www.edf.fr/html/en/index.html

    French water board :
    http://www.saur.com/en/home.php

    France Telecom :
    http://www.francetelecom17.com/

    French postal service :
    http://www.laposte.fr/

    French rail system (yes they still have one, unlike UK !) :
    http://www.voyages-sncf.com/

    Weather forecasts :
    http://www.meteo.fr/temps/index.html

    Michelin maps/routes :
    http://www.viamichelin.com/

    French embassy in London :
    http://www.ambafrance.org.uk/

    British embassy in Paris :
    http://www.amb-grandebretagne.fr/

    French yellow pages :
    http://wgc.pagesjaunes.fr/pj.cgi?

    "Liberation" newspaper :
    http://www.liberation.com/

    French road info (I think ...) :
    http://www.equipement.gouv.fr/

    Bordeaux Airport :
    http://www.bordeaux.aeroport.fr/home.asp?lang=en

    and most important of all ... Bordeaux IKEA !!!
    http://www.ikea.fr/ikea_near_you/local_store/bordeaux/store.asp

    UK DSS (well, now Work and Pensions ...) :
    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/

    UK Dept of Health :
    http://www.doh.gov.uk/

    UK Inland Revenue :
    http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/home.htm

    and some of the particular people/companies we used :

    French tax advice : Charles Parkinson at Pannell Kerr Forster (Guernsey). Their book on "Taxation in France" is a must buy at about 25 :
    http://www.pkfguernsey.com/

    Legal advice (on house purchases, wills, PACS) : Matthew Cameron at Prettys Solicitors, Ipswich :
    http://www.prettys.co.uk/

    Insurance broker : Gaye Galliver of British Insurance Brokers of Aquitaine :
    E-mail : [email protected]

    Mortgage Broker : Michelle Templeton of Templeton Associates :
    www.templeton-france.com

    UK Bank (including Internet Banking and Money Transfers via TAPS) :
    http://www.bankofscotland.co.uk/

    French bank (including Internet Banking) :
    martinetchris
    Tim

    Great idea !

    Our contributions (some duplications - sorry !) :

    Some of our past/present links to interesting (some less than others !) French and UK websites :

    British Embassy/Consular Services in France (very useful summaries and links about lots of things, including tax, inheritance, health, residence, pets passports etc) :
    http://www.amb-grandebretagne.fr/consular_services/index.jsp?folder_id=104132&folder_id_parent=196

    Guide to public services (some in English) :
    http://www.service-public.fr/etranger/english.html

    Prefecture of Charente Maritime :
    http://www.charente-maritime.pref.gouv.fr/

    European Commission :
    http://europa.eu.int/europedirect/en/index_en.html

    Couverture Medicales Universelle (CMU) :
    http://www.cnamts.fr/ass/cmu/somcmu.htm

    CPAM for Charente Maritime (French social security, incl CMU) :
    http://www.cpam-larochelle.fr/

    Charente Maritime Tourism :
    http://www.charente-maritime.org/

    French electricity board :
    http://www.edf.fr/html/en/index.html

    French water board :
    http://www.saur.com/en/home.php

    France Telecom :
    http://www.francetelecom17.com/

    French postal service :
    http://www.laposte.fr/

    French rail system (yes they still have one, unlike UK !) :
    http://www.voyages-sncf.com/

    Weather forecasts :
    http://www.meteo.fr/temps/index.html

    Michelin maps/routes :
    http://www.viamichelin.com/

    French embassy in London :
    http://www.ambafrance.org.uk/

    British embassy in Paris :
    http://www.amb-grandebretagne.fr/

    French yellow pages :
    http://wgc.pagesjaunes.fr/pj.cgi?

    "Liberation" newspaper :
    http://www.liberation.com/

    French road info (I think ...) :
    http://www.equipement.gouv.fr/

    Bordeaux Airport :
    http://www.bordeaux.aeroport.fr/home.asp?lang=en

    and most important of all ... Bordeaux IKEA !!!
    http://www.ikea.fr/ikea_near_you/local_store/bordeaux/store.asp

    UK DSS (well, now Work and Pensions ...) :
    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/

    UK Dept of Health :
    http://www.doh.gov.uk/

    UK Inland Revenue :
    http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/home.htm

    and some of the particular people/companies we used :

    French tax advice : Charles Parkinson at Pannell Kerr Forster (Guernsey). Their book on "Taxation in France" is a must buy at about 25 :
    http://www.pkfguernsey.com/

    Legal advice (on house purchases, wills, PACS) : Matthew Cameron at Prettys Solicitors, Ipswich :
    http://www.prettys.co.uk/

    Insurance broker : Gaye Galliver of British Insurance Brokers of Aquitaine :
    E-mail : [email protected]

    Mortgage Broker : Michelle Templeton of Templeton Associates :
    www.templeton-france.com

    UK Bank (including Internet Banking and Money Transfers via TAPS) :
    http://www.bankofscotland.co.uk/

    French bank (including Internet Banking) :
    martinetchris
    In response to your query about useful net links, here are 2 I've come across :

    Dept. Social Security (this address will probably divert you to the new address for the Dept. of Work and Pensions or whatever it's called - sorry, I can't find my copy of the new address) :

    http://www.dss.gov.uk/

    British Embassy in France/Consular Services, which includes (if my memory serves me well) a section on health cover etc - as well as lots of other useful info re moving to France, Tax, Pets, driving, residence etc etc : if the full link doesn't work for you delete everything after consular services/ and try again

    http://www.amb-grandebretagne.fr/consular_services/index.jsp?folder_id=104132&folder_id_parent=196

    Best wishes - and good luck !

    Chris and Martin
  22. LAST EDITED ON 19-Sep-02 AT 03:25 PM (GMT)

    Folks

    Every time I try to post/reply to a LF message my Personal Firewall (Norton 2002) appears to block it.

    The only way I can find around it is to temporarily disable the Firewall, which I don't like doing as :

    1) Activated it frequently detects attempts to access my computer and

    2) One has to remember to activate it again after the posting.

    Has anyone any suggestions of ways around this ?

    Many thanks

    Chris and Martin

    PS As an aside : the increasing frequency with which my anti-virus program (Norton 2002) detects incoming e-mails with viruses, and the frequency with which the Personal Firewall detects attempts to access my computer (including attempted use of Trojan virus programs - happily blocked in the first place by the anti-virus program) seems to me to demonstrate that anyone out there who hasn't yet got both (and who isn't updating their virus program at least weekly !) is indeed living on borrowed time - and not doing their e-friends any favours !
  23. Hi

    The issue of wealth tax is covered extensively in Pannell Kerr Forster (Guernsey)'s book "Taxation in France", which only costs about 25 and covers all aspects of French taxation from the perspecive of ex-pats :

    http://www.pkfguernsey.com/

    From my quick scan it appears to say that the value (which I would assume to mean CURRENT value) of main residence is included, but less an abatement of up to 20% to "reflect the fact that it is occupied by a 'sitting tenant'"

    Best wishes

    Chris and Martin
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