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Help I'm in big trouble! Urgently need advice on declaration of revenus


Neil34

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Hi there. I really hope someone here can help me.

I've inadvertantly got myself in what seems to be a sticky situation

and I'm very very worried.

I am a self employed UK resident, but I have rented a flat in

Montpellier and I just received a letter asking for a declaration de

revenus.

The letter took a while to get to me and basically it says that they need it by monday 7th Nov!

So I'm in a right fluster now trying to figure out what I am supposed to send, or perhaps I can get them to give me more time?

Is this all because I was supposed to pay a 'taxe de l'habitation? Do I

have to fill in a declaration just because I rented a flat here?

All suggestions gratefully received. I'm quite scared because I really

don't understand the french system at all and I've heard they can be

quite heavy!

Thanks for listening,

Neil.

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Simple questions:

Have you been working in France?

How long have you had your appt?

Have you stayed in France for any length of time?

 

Declarations des revenues is income tax on your earnings and if you have one now it is for the year 1st Jan 2010 to 31Dec 2010. Taxe d'habitation can be affected by this, but I doubt that they would send you this for your taxe d'hab.

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Hi thanks for your quick reply!

No I haven't been working in France and I've had the apartment for nearly 2 years.

I have been going backwards and forwards quite a bit.... I haven't calculated how many days exactly but how would anyone apart from ryanair know?!!

Yes the letter asks for a declaration for the year 2010 but if I haven't been earning money here what am I declaring? I don't understand how they caught up with me unless it's to do with taxe d'hab or edf etc. The letter was sent to my montpellier flat.

My big problem here is time - I need to do SOMETHING by monday but am not sure what. I'm wondering if they will cruxify me if I ask for more time.

I'm not going to sleep tonight   :-(

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They probably assume that you are resident here, since you have rented a flat, on which you usually DO have to pay  the taxe d'habitation.

Anybody resident has to make an annual declaration of their world-wide income, but in many cases for someone whose income is UK sourced this can lead to zero tax bill, and income earned n the UK on which you have paid UK income tax  comes under a double taxation treaty.

It is difficult to be more precise without knowing more of your personal circumstances than you probably wish to reveal here.

I would go in and see them face to face.

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Hi Norman thank you for your advice

How is taxe d'habitation normally paid.. and who too? I had no idea about it! Would I be right in assuming that that's how they caught up with me?

I'm not quite clear about your next comment re. double taxation. Are you saying that I qualify as a resident because I rent a flat and have to pay taxe d'hab?

What I'm worried about is how heavy these people are. I can go and see them as you say but will they crucify me for not having the relevant documents to hand by monday? I'm wondering if they might give me more time but I've heard some scary things about how it can be in france.

As far as number of days spent in france is concerned ... are they likely to ask for proof ?.... I'm wondering how do you prove something like that? I mean... if I have been in france for a couple of weeks over the limit who's going to know...

N

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Just tell them that you are UK tax resident, merely visit France on holiday and if they persist send them a copy of your last UK tax assessment, proving you are UK tax resident and work in the UK.

Taxe d'hab has nothing to do with tax residence, as it is payable by a properties occupier, even if it is just a holiday home.

They probably just mistakenly think you are French resident as you are renting, which is unusual for someone visiting France for holidays.

As for checking the number of days in France, unlike the UK, that in itself is not a decisive factor on it's own in determining French tax residence.

I would not panic, as the return has probably been generated automatically and the French Fisc will lose interest as soon as they know you are UK tax resident and have no French source income.

Last but not least, whilst it is possible to check how long someone spends in France or the UK, it is still a time consuming and expensive investigative exercise, that the tax authorities would only instigate for the big fish!
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I know that a poster has said that the tax man has checked up on numbers of days spent where, in the past. Maybe you should check up anyway.

 

Whoever lives in a property on the 1st of January pays the taxe d'habitation for the year on that property. You should have had a bill for that anyway.

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Thanks for the comforting words, sprogster...

Yes, I will get a copy of my last UK tax assessment to them. Not sure if I can do it by monday for a variety of reasons but... perhaps if I at least call them and say it's on the way....

I have actually noticed that there is a small space on the flip side of the letter saying 'Reponse'. I find this slightly confusing because the rest of the letter asks very clearly for a declaration of revenue.

<<As for checking the number of days in France, unlike the UK, that in

itself is not a decisive factor on it's own in determining French tax

residence.>>

Could I ask how you came to this conclusion?

<< it is an extremely time consuming and expensive exercise, that the tax authorities would only instigate for big fish!>>

I heard that they got Johhny Halliday by checking his mobile phone records!

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Niel

 

point 1 - calm down, this is not a hanging offence.

OK?

point 2 - do not worry about the letter.  I had one 6 weeks after we declared our secondary home to now be our main house.  By the sounds very similar to yours.  Why had I not filled out a tax return for the previous year?  and like yours a space at the back to fill out a response.

I went to the tax office to explain that I had not been working in France and the lady very kindly dictated what I had to write in the response section.  End of matter.  They could not have been more helpful except to have a system to reduce the waiting time and they sent a tax form the following year - which I did have to fill out even though I was still not working in France.

point 3 - How can anyone except Ryanair know how long you have been in France?  Easy Peasy if they want to:

They (the authorities) have access to passenger lists

They (UK lot)  now demand your full details before you fly - and they do excahnge data with the French

Everytime you use a credit card, you are marked as customer present or not present.  So if you were present they know where you were at a precise time.

Mobile phone - tracks you every 30 minutes it is switched on.

Using the internet? - getting the picture?

Telephone, gas, water and electricity usage in France all indicate how long you might have been here.

Every time you drive through the toll barriers on the autoroute, there are cameras which capture the number plate details (and probably the drivers' faces)

 

etc..

 

So don't try and be clever with them because if they want Big Brother can watch you very very easily.

 

 

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Basically, you can be considered tax resident in France if:

1. Your main home is in France

2. Your spouse or family live in France

3. You have financial interests in France (e.g. you work in France, even part time) or

4. You spend more time in France than in any other country.

That's not a totally exhaustive or official list, but it covers the main criteria.

It would seem that none of the above apply to you, so you should not worry unduly. And even if you do qualify, you can be resident in more than one country and it won't necessarily mean you are being chased to pay large sums of extra tax.

The best advice is to respond to the letter saying you are non-resident, and when next in France go and see your local tax office and explain the situation. Take a French-speaker with you if necessary. And definitely don't try to be clever, just be honest.

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The OP has not specified who the "they" is that have demanded a declaration de revenues in such a short space of time, all of you that have assumed that it is les impôts may well be jumping to the wrong conclusion.

It may just be the bank sending out their usual annual spam to those they consider to be non resident.

Could the OP please confirm who or what organisation sent the letter?

As has been said it could also be a scam.

 

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Hi there and thanks so much for everyones help and advice - this forum is wonderful. I've done below what I probably should have done in the first place and copied the letter out (sans accent and probably with mistakes but you get the gist of it)

----------

Direction Generale Des Finances Publique

SIP Montpellier

Impot sur le revenu

Demande de declaration

07/10/2011

Madame, Monsieur

A ce jour, je n'ai pas recu le declaration detaillee de vos revenus de l'annee 2010 qui aurait de etre deposee pour le 30/5/2011

Le production de ces documents constitue une obligation prevue par la loi. Le manquement a cette obligation legale, ou le retard a l'accomplir vous expose a des sanctions.

Meme si vous n'etes pas imposable, vous avez interet a souscrire cette declaration. Elle permettra en effet a l'administration de vous adresser un avis d'impot sur le revenu que vous pourrez utiliser pour le justifier du montant de vos ressources aupres d'organismes qui vous le demanderaient pour vous accorder certains avantages.

Si vous n'avez deja souscrite, soyez assez aimable de me faire connaitre, dans le plus court delai possible, a l'adresse indiquee ci-dessus, le service des Impots auquel vous l'avez fait parvenir, en indiquant le domicile que vous y avez mentionne.

Si vous n'avez pas depose cette declaration, et afin d'eviter toute erreur d'imposition a votre prejudice, je vous demanderais de m'addresser, apres l'avoir rempli, l'imprime que vous avez du recevoir precedemment. A defaut, vous pourrez vous le procurer du SIP/centre des impots dont l'adresse est mentionnee ci-dessus ou sur le site internet impots.gouv.fr. Dans tous les cas cet envoi doit intervenir dans un delai maximum de trente jours a compter de la reception de la presents lettre.

Je me tiens a votre disposition......

Mme M D.....

Controleur des impots

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One more question.

Are you physically carrying out any of your UK self employed work whilst in France? From your computer for instance?

I dont think that you have anything to panic about (yet!) the letter is giving you 30 days from when you recived it, unless perhaps it was recomandéé and someone else signed for it a few weeks ago.

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<<Are you physically carrying out any of your UK self employed work whilst in France? From your computer for instance?

No

<<I dont think that you have anything to panic about (yet!) the letter is giving you 30 days from when you recived it, unless perhaps it was recomandéé and someone else signed for it a few weeks ago.

yes that's the problem - the letter was sent one month ago - my time is up on monday!! i didn't receive it becquse i was in uk, but i'm sure they won't be interested by that excuse.

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I got a letter of similar content after living 5 years or so in france. The letter requested to know where in france I was making a revenue return, it was apparently triggered by changing house to a principal residence in order to pay less taxe d'habitation. As posted above just pop along to the tax office and explain the situation.

I found them most understanding as when I told them I had binned all my pension check stubs etc; they said OK then forget about this year but from today KEEP all the data and send us a return next year.

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Hi thanks for your reply

[quote user="pachapapa"]

I found them most understanding as when I told them I had binned all my pension check stubs etc; they said OK then forget about this year but from today KEEP all the data and send us a return next year.

[/quote]

So you had to send a return the year after even though you were not earning in france?

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[quote user="Neil34"]<<Are you physically carrying out any of your UK self employed work whilst in France? From your computer for instance?

No

<<I dont think that you have anything to panic about (yet!) the letter is giving you 30 days from when you received it>>

I didn't receive it becquse i was in uk, but i'm sure they won't be interested by that excuse.

[/quote]

If your rented French flat is just a holiday home and you spend most of your time in the UK - which is also your centre of employment - then you have only to tell the French Tax people that. You didn't receive the letter, and therefore reply before now, because you were in the UK - simple.

There is no requirement for you to fill in a French tax declaration unless your situation changes.

The Tax people here might be draconian - but usually only if there is a reason.

Sue

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[quote user="Neil34"]Hi thanks for your reply

[quote user="pachapapa"]

I found them most understanding as when I told them I had binned all my pension check stubs etc; they said OK then forget about this year but from today KEEP all the data and send us a return next year.

[/quote]

So you had to send a return the year after even though you were not earning in france?
[/quote]

Yes as a retired pensioner resident in france a return is required.

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If you are French fiscal resident (as defined in my earlier post) even for part of a tax year, then you are legally bound to make a tax return for that year. Even if you had no taxable earnings in France for that year. The advantages of making even a 'nil' tax return far outweigh any potential or perceived disadvantages.

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Hi,

I hope this doesn't sound patronising it's meant in all honesty.

I just wanted to say i've been reading this post with interest just because Neil sounded so desperate on the original post.

I've been so impressed with all the sensible and sensitive replies to the original poster and the help that has been offered I just wanted to say it's been a pleasure to read.

I've posted quite a few questions myself and have always been offered a great bundle of help but this post just got to me.

Good luck Neil with all your advice and I'm sure you'll get it sorted out to your satisfaction quickly.

"WELL DONE FRANCE FORUM"

Best Regards Mel.
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So a final update after the big day....

Sometimes in life you get seen by the jobsworth that you actually wanted. The lady at the Hotel des Impots was more interested in moving on to the next person than asking awkward questions. A quick check on the pc, a little 'tampon' on my letter and that was it. Done, goodbye, bon journee. So, yes, it did turn out to be simple and easy as some of you suggested, but at the same time I was well prepared for all eventualities so all the advice was very very welcome. The only complaint : that has to be the worst hotel I've ever been in - there wasn't even a bar!

As Mel said - wonderful forum, priceless advice, friendly contributers. I shall return.

Thank you again,

Cordialement, Neil.

--

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[quote user="Neil34"]So a final update after the big day....

Sometimes in life you get seen by the jobsworth that you actually wanted. The lady at the Hotel des Impots was more interested in moving on to the next person than asking awkward questions. A quick check on the pc, a little 'tampon' on my letter and that was it. Done, goodbye, bon journee. So, yes, it did turn out to be simple and easy as some of you suggested, but at the same time I was well prepared for all eventualities so all the advice was very very welcome. The only complaint : that has to be the worst hotel I've ever been in - there wasn't even a bar!

As Mel said - wonderful forum, priceless advice, friendly contributers. I shall return.

Thank you again,

Cordialement, Neil.

--

[/quote]

A happy ending!  You must be very relieved.

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