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Everything posted by allanb

  1. I'm not renovating a house, just trying to maintain it, but there seems to be no better place to post. I need to clear a partly blocked toilet, and haven't made any progress with a plunger. I have what I think is called a snake, i.e. a length of springy coil wire with a handle at one end for turning it, and a short spiral thingy at the other end, presumably designed to worm its way into the blockage and either grab it or push it. However, I'm not getting anywhere. As far as I can judge, the end of the snake is going no further than about the top of the inverted 'U' right behind the bowl. I've tried turning it, pushing it, wiggling it, but no luck. What I find odd is that it seems to be coming up abruptly against a hard surface, which I think must be part of the fixture; in other words, there doesn't seem to be a smooth inner curve of the U-bend around which it might eventually slide. Can anyone suggest anything? Is this a peculiarity of French toilet design? (That doesn't seem likely.) Is there a special technique I have to learn? Is it possible I've got the wrong device?
  2. Dave: OK, I can see what you meant to say, but is there really that much difference? I mean, if you have an ADAC policy and your car breaks down in Spain (or France, for that matter) isn't the repair or recovery service going to be provided by a local garage anyway? ADAC may use its own facilities and breakdown vehicles in Germany, for all I know, but surely not everywhere in Europe. Do these clubs have reciprocal arrangements in different countries? In any case I'm sorry your experience of French insurers' service has been bad. Mine has been very good – twice, in fact. As with any supplier, I suppose you can be lucky or unlucky.
  3. Jay: you mean they'll tow your car back home from Oslo or somewhere even if it could be repaired locally? That's pretty generous, I admit.
  4. [quote user="dave21478"]Breakdown services like AA or RAC do not exist in France.  [/quote] That's a remarkable statement, and I've heard something similar from other people. My (French) insurers will pay for a roadside repair if it can be done within 30 minutes, otherwise they will pay for the car to be towed to a garage.  If it can be repaired within 48 hours they will pay for up to 3 nights in a hotel for me and my passengers.  If not, they will pay for us either to continue to our destination or to return home, whichever I choose.  In either case they will pay for me to go back to the garage later to recover the car.   The cover applies in any of the countries listed on the green card (except Iran, which is probably not an important exclusion for most people.)  There are various other things they will provide – including psychiatric help in the case of a serious incident! – and there are of course some limits and conditions, but nothing that I would call unreasonable.  And it's a standard policy.  The only add-on I have is the "zero-km" option. Of course I don't know what this costs, because it's buried in the total premium.  But can you really get something better from the AA or RAC or ADAC?
  5. PaulT wrote: "you make it sound that only one side dropped incendiary bombs…" I know that wasn't the case and I didn't mean to imply it. But my question is still valid, I think; if the crime is killing innocent people, how would you select the ones to be prosecuted for it? I believe that for most people the honest answer would be: it would depend on which country's uniform they were wearing at the time.
  6. It's easy to get angry but I don't think it's a clear issue. A lot of innocent people were burned to death during WW2, including not only several hundred in Oradour but also tens of thousands in the incendiary bombing raids on Dresden and other cities. The people who did it were all obeying military orders in wartime. How, exactly, would you select those to be prosecuted?
  7. Yes, I understand your point and I can see that "putting up" wasn't very useful as an illustration. Let me ask again, choosing more carefully this time: "he went out." I don't think "out" changes the meaning of "went" – it just adds some information to it (just as "he went out through the window" would add some more.) Would you nevertheless say that "to go out" is a phrasal verb? I don't see this as an argument, by the way – I'd just like to know what the accepted definition is, if there is one.
  8. [quote user="Chancer"]Could someone explain what a phrasal verb is in simple terms…[/quote] I suggest it means a verb (like "put") used together with another word (like "up") with a meaning that is not obviously related to the meanings of those two words separately.  There may be more than two, as in "put up with." In a sentence like "let's put up a tent" or "put the book up on the shelf" I wouldn't call "put up" a phrasal verb, because "put" and "up" are being used with natural meanings.    On the other hand, if someone says "you shouldn't put up with that" you, as an English speaker, will understand it.  But a foreigner might not, even if he knew the words "put" and "up" and "with."  In combination, those words mean something different from what they mean separately.  So I would say that "put up with" in that case is a phrasal verb. PS: Betty – I wrote the above before seeing your post.  Do you still call it a phrasal verb if each word is used in its ordinary sense?  I don't think I would.
  9. Sorry, I missed your earlier post. But yes, it would be another vote, if we were having votes.
  10. Verbs used in combination with another word, with many different meanings, for which there would usually be a single word in French. For example: "put up" – I've put up a fence (construire) I've put it up for sale (offrir) I can't put up a tent (monter) I can't put up with the noise (tolérer) We can put you up for the night (héberger) We should put him up for membership (proposer) We'd better put it up to the directors (soumettre) Someone must have put him up to it (inciter) – plus one or two that I wouldn't know how to translate: He put up a good fight Put up or shut up! Both French and Spanish friends have told me that this is a particular nightmare in English.
  11. [quote user="JohnRoss"]Hi no it is on the on-line form allanb. If you go to the gouv site and log in with your 3 numbers and call up the 2042 form as if you were going to fill it in there is a little panel with the word Notice in each section of the form which when clicked gives more information about that section, same with the 2047 form.......JR[/quote]Sorry.  But you did say "… and the last bit I mentioned is on the paper version of the 2042 form." Anyway, let's not waste time on that, because even in the online declaration, what I see when I click on "Notice" is not what you quoted.  I've copied it in full, below***.   The button I'm clicking on is the only "Notice" button in the section called "Divers", which includes the boxes from 8BY to 8UU. The box we're talking about (8UT) is on the second line in that section.  Immediately after it there is a subheading: Personnes domiciliées en France percevant des revenus à l'étranger – and after that there are more boxes including 8TT and 8UU.  So, as I said, there's no apparent connection between those two boxes and 8UT. The mystery continues.  Clicking on "Notice" can evidently produce different results, and I'm fairly sure that the part you saw contains an error.  But Parsnips' explanation makes sense, and reassures me that there's nothing I ought to have declared in 8UT.     *** Si vous êtes titulaire d'un contrat d'assurance-vie conclu auprès d'un établissement établi hors de France ou de comptes bancaires à l'étranger, vous devez les déclarer sous les rubriques 8TT et 8UU. Le défaut de déclaration d'un contrat d'assurance-vie souscrit à l'étranger est passible d'une amende de 25 % des versements effectués sur ce contrat. Lorsque le Trésor public n'a subi aucun préjudice, le taux de l'amende est ramené à 5 % et son montant plafonné à 1 500 €. Le défaut de déclaration d'un compte bancaire à l'étranger est passible d'une amende de 1 500 Euros qui peut être portée à 10 000 Euros lorsque le compte est détenu dans un État ou territoire non coopératif (qui ne permet pas l'accès aux informations bancaires). Ces amendes peuvent sous certaines conditions être majorées (CGI art. 1649A, 1649AA et 1766).
  12. We're moving a bit off-topic here but I would like to find out exactly what box 8UT refers to. It seems clear that 8UU refers to foreign assurance vie contracts, and 8TT refers to other foreign accounts.  Here's a clear statement from the government website (it's what appears when you click on "Notice"): Si vous êtes titulaire d'un contrat d'assurance-vie conclu auprès d'un établissement établi hors de France ou de comptes bancaires à l'étranger, vous devez les déclarer sous les rubriques 8TT et 8UU. I can't see any connection between those and box 8UT.  JohnRoss: you quoted this – Contrat d’assurance-vie : si vous avez souscrit, modifié ou dénoué un contrat d’assurance-vie auprès d’un organisme établi hors de France, cochez la case 8UT… You said that was on the paper form.  I haven't found it on the one I received, but there are different versions of 2042.  Wherever it is, I wonder whether it could be a misprint.  Such things do happen. The caption for 8UT in the declaration is Plus-values en report d'imposition non expiré connues.  I think that means "all known capital gains on which tax has been deferred and has not yet expired" – but I still don't know what it refers to.  The word "foreign" isn't mentioned, and there's no apparent connection between it and the other two.  Does anyone know what kind of thing would need to be declared here?  Could it be that unrealized gains in an assurance vie contract need to be declared?  I hope not – I've never done it.  
  13. I apologize; I had forgotten that your question referred to assurance vie contracts as well as bank accounts.  I agree, 8TT would be the right box to tick for an assurance vie.   As far as 8TT and 8UU are concerned, I think Chiefluvvie is right. What they're after is disclosure.  If you fail to disclose something that should be disclosed you may be in trouble for hiding it, but I cannot believe you will be in trouble if you honestly disclose its existence but just tick the wrong box.     However, for my own nefarious purposes, I would like to understand the reference to 8UT: it apparently refers to tax deferred on capital gains brought forward.  There's no obvious connection with a foreign assurance vie contract.  Where can I find the note that mentioned this? By the way, an assurance vie contract is not the same thing as life insurance – it's roughly what used to be (maybe still is) called an insurance bond in the UK.  Just to complicate the issue.
  14. As Mr C de L says, it would be nice to have a vote based on clear information.  The trouble is that the really important information isn't clear: it's only a guess. I think it's clear that if the UK leaves, its trade with the EU would decline.  But its trade with the rest of the world would presumably gain, since it wouldn't be bound by EU tariffs and other restrictions on non-EU trade.  The question is whether the gain would be greater than the loss.  This can only be guesswork, but it seems to me highly likely that the gain would be greater: the potential for growth in the EU cannot be as great as the potential for growth in China, India, Brazil, etc, and there's no reason to think that trade with the USA would suffer. As for the "inward investment" argument: inward investment will continue as long as the UK is seen as a good place to invest and do business, and that doesn't depend solely on potential exports within Europe.
  15. You put a mark in box 8UU on form 2042 (on the normal version of the form it's the very last item.)  You give the details separately, and there is a form for the purpose: nº 3916.  I don't think they normally send it out with the 2042 etc, but you can download it; or, if you declare online, you can complete 3916 on line also. But you don't have to use form 3916; you may make a simple declaration on plain paper (papier libre).  Personally I find this a lot easier. For many years I have declared 2042 and 2047 on line – not forgetting box 8UU – but mailed the bank details later, with a covering note quoting my tax i/d.  It's never been questioned. 
  16. [quote user="JohnRoss"]Surely, as the accountant implied to us, an assurance vie bond that has no activity in terms of money in or out and which, as I have said before, has made a loss and no gain and was put in place before we moved to France is of no interest to the tax man? [/quote] It's probably wrong to think that the tax man is only interested in accounts that might produce taxable income.  I think it's very likely that he is interested in any account outside France which might be useful for concealing tax evasion, buying or selling drugs, financing terrorism, or any other nefarious activities. Since you are not guilty of any of these things, I recommend you play safe and declare everything.  After all, they aren't asking you to disclose transaction details, only the existence of the account.  
  17. But if it was opened during the year then, automatically, it was open at some time during the year… This is getting a bit academic, I suppose.  But, either way, if your accountant said that you needn't report it "because nothing was taken from it," then I think he was wrong.  Nothing in the reporting rule excludes an account just because it was dormant.
  18. JohnRoss: in answer to your first question, I think the French is not completely clear. Does it mean any account that was **opened** during the year, or any account that was **open** at any time during the year? It would be interesting to know, but why take a risk? You can't go wrong by reporting it in either case. And – in either case – I'm quite sure that your accountant was wrong. Whether or not you took money from it doesn't affect the need to report it.
  19. I agree with Norman's suggestion: your best source of advice is your insurance company, and it may even be free. Nevertheless, for what it's worth, here's what I think. In answer to your first question: your wife is an injured third party (un tiers) and might have a claim against you, which would be settled by your insurers – but it's not clear what she could sue you for. Compensation for pain and suffering, maybe, but that's difficult to value; medical expenses (if not reimbursed); loss of earnings (if any). Obviously nobody wants to go to court in this situation, and your insurers might agree to some settlement. You write: "My insurance company have all the details, and have taken action as regards the car (awaiting payout!)" If this means that your insurers have agreed to pay for the damage to the car, then I don't think you can expect to recover that from anyone else. Your insurers, having compensated you for the damage, would have the right to take over any claim that you might have against the road laying company. If there is anything else that you might hope to recover from that company, they would probably claim that you were driving too fast for the conditions, and a court might agree (in spite of what the gendarmes said). Sorry if this sounds negative, but I think it's realistic. As for any other insurance claim: apart from the first four items in your list, which refer to compulsory third-party insurance, the other clauses that you mentioned are (a) legal costs resulting from an accident (I think this means your defence if you are sued or prosecuted) and (b) compensation for you if you suffer permanent disability judged to be more than 15% (IP = invalidité permanente). You didn't mention either of those.
  20. I suppose quite a lot could be gained economically – even if all the holidays continue to be observed – by arranging for them all to fall on either Monday or Friday, thus removing the excuse to "faire le pont." I wonder if anyone knows how many days in the year are lost because of the 'bridge' days, as opposed to the holidays themselves. (In the interests of full disclosure, I took a good few bridge days myself while I was working for a living.)
  21. I've reason to think that I may have a leak somewhere in the pool system. I can't detect any significant leakage from the pool itself. I have a pressure tank which can be fed from either the mains supply or a well. The pressure tank feeds a reservoir which is the source of water for the pool, and also some taps in the garden. There's no visible leak from any of these, although I suppose there could be a slow leak from some underground pipe which I haven't seen yet. In order to check the tank, I've used the mains supply to build pressure in the tank to its normal maximum, which is around 3,3 bar, and then closed all the inputs and outputs. Since then, with the tank – in theory – completely sealed, its pressure has dropped by about 0,9 bar in 4 hours. I assume that there's always some leakage in this kind of installation, but can anyone tell me whether this loss of pressure could be "normal"? It has occurred to me that that the pressure drop may be caused by loss of air, rather than water (from the upper part of the tank, for instance.) But I'm not sure how to check this.
  22. FWIW I lost mine and got a new one through the préfecture (2 visits: one to file a declaration and get a temporary one, and another to collect the final new one). The gendarmes weren't involved. I suppose it may differ from one department to another.
  23. Bordeaux airport (Mérignac) has a long-term parking area, with a shuttle bus to the terminals, and a tariff of €36 for 5-8 days. It's quite a lot, but that isn't my complaint. I used it recently and on leaving I was given a leaflet inviting me on my next trip to reserve a space in advance, offering me several advantages: it's a simple on-line procedure, I would be sure of a space, it would allow me to manage my budget (?). I didn't really understand that last one, but the rest sounded OK, so I decided to try it. It isn't really a simple procedure – you first have to create an account, which takes time – but let that pass. When you've entered all the details and you're asked to confirm the booking, lo and behold, the cost is now €44, with a note in very small print that says "including cancellation insurance." I didn't want cancellation insurance (I already have it under a general travel policy) but even if I had wanted it, €8 would be a ridiculously high premium rate: 22% of the amount insured, for a period that might be only a few weeks or days. But there's no way to confirm the booking without the insurance. I actually looked up the conditions, and they say that the company will offer "assurance annulation en option" – but I wasn't being offered any option. So I abandoned it. If I hadn't had the €36 tariff still in my head from the previous trip, I might quite easily have gone ahead and paid the €44, and I imagine a lot of people do. Is this an innocent mistake, or a nasty little attempted scam? What do you think?
  24. The tax form as you know mentions simply "emploi d'un salarié à domicile", which is a bit vague, but the government website gives specific examples: garde d'enfants, soutien scolaire, assistance aux personnes âgées ou handicapées, entretien de la maison et travaux ménagers, petits travaux de jardinage, prestations de petit bricolage, prestations d'assistance informatique et internet". I'm not sure what "soutien scolaire" means: I would guess some form of tuition. The others, roughly translated, are – 
 child care assistance to old or handicapped people household maintenance minor gardening work small repair jobs assistance with a computer and the internet
  25. 7DB if you (and your spouse, if any) were employed, or looking for work; otherwise 7DF. But I don't think it's clear whether this means for the whole year, or only part of the year. By the way, it's not only "chèque emploi" payments that count. If the work was done by a registered business, that should qualify also, if they can give you the necessary confirmation ("attestation fiscale").
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