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I wish we hadn't started with French tax!


Llantony

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Went to tax office to get forms for first tax return in France.  Was told to return with details of pension.  Completed forms with instructions from Connexions newspaper.  Went back with forms, P45s, pension info, saw a woman who looked at the forms, puzzled, said 'I'm sure this isn't right' and asked us to come back for an appointment on 9th June.  As a first timer, we can't complete the forms online so they should be in today but she said we won't be fined.

Lots of Brits here have told us not to bother, they never have and some have been here 20 years and no-one had ever queried their lack of tax return.  (Odd, because most are in the health system and people say French organisations share information!)  They tell me I'll pay extortionate amounts of tax here;  I don't think so and anyway our main income is my husband's pension which is taxed in the UK before he gets it.

Before you all shout at me, I will to do things correctly but I did find the forms (and the Connexions advice) confusing and I can see why people don't bother to try.  Has anyone ever heard of British people in France being in trouble for not being in the tax system?  The only one I know of is a professional who was stupid enough to work here and conitinue to pay tax only in the UK.  He got a rebate from the UK and had to pay it all back into the French system, with a fine for late payment.

 

 

 

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I did my first tax return last year and found all my information on this forum. The best starting point is Cat's FAQ here http://www.completefrance.com/cs/forums/1196188/ShowPost.aspx - Brilliant piece of overall advice [:)]

As for the Connexion's advice - my suggestion - The Bin !!

I also know some who don't fill in tax returns here, leaving everything in the UK system, but all I can say is we are definitely better off in the French system...

Good Luck

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Llanthony - I think you go to Montauban, the same as us and I've always found them nice and helpful.  You won't get fined for the late return and I doubt very much you'll pay huge sums of tax.  They've always made sure we understand - yes the forms are confusing, but once you've done it once (make sure you keep a copy) it is easier the next time.  People DO get pulled up for not doing tax returns and it is particularly important if you sell for CGT purposes.

Stick with it, it'll come out right.

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Thanks Cerise, we went to Moissac!  I don't know if you can choose but it's the nearest.  Come to think of it, no-one asked where we live.

Yes Chris pp, you are supposed to fill in a French tax return if you live here, I was just pointing out that many people have told me they don't bother, even when they've lived here for years, and have enjoyed the healthcare system, and no-one has got into trouble over it.  In fact, I've been told I'm mad/stupid to bother!

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Everyone here already knows that they have to make a tax declaration in France.  In fact it's probably the major topic of discussion at the moment.....

And everybody already knows there are people who have lived here for years etc etc, but quite content to break the law .

It seems that everytime you raise a question about your own tax, you always have to mention these other people.  Unless you are looking for us to say Oh, go on then, you just follow their advice, then I can't see the point.....[8-)]

 

 

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Don't forget too that 'inactifs' need 5 years of legal residency to qualify for health care and an integral part of that is tax returns, something I rather suspect a good few have discovered to their cost in recent times.

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" As a first timer, we can't complete the forms online so they should be in today but she said we won't be fined"

This is not true, you can do an on line return now even if it is your first tax return.   Probably best not to if you are having problems with the paper forms. 

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[quote user="Ron Avery"]

" As a first timer, we can't complete the forms online ... "

This is not true, you can do an on line return now even if it is your first tax return.

  [/quote]

Where do you get this from, Ron? Normally the first declaration is done on paper, then, when you have a teledéclarant number as a result of the first declaration, you can declare online from that point on.

Sue

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In order to declare online, you need to have:

No. télédéclarant

No. Fiscal

RFR

plus a valid email address.

You can't have that lot without having received your first Avis d'Imposition, which, in turn, you can't get until you've made your first return.
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Just to go back to Llantony's last post.   I do have a lot of sympathy for someone who is trying to do the correct course of action.  There are of course other xpats who are not so inclined and its frustrating to see them get away with it year after year.  Its easy to feel I wish I hadn't bothered.  You would think it would be easy for the french authorities to check that all foreigners who are in the health system are actually registered for tax.  If its all on computer a simple query would produce the sinners list.  Cracking down on these infringements and others such as cars not reged correctly just doesn't seem to be the french way. 
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Yes I stand corrected.  I was just quoting from the notes that came with the 2042 that say that Declaration "est possible pour tous" although having now read it in depth that probably should be clarified to "all who have been sent a 2042 and have declared tax before"!!  As you say the teledeclerant  number is still required although that is on the 2042 form which is sent out and which you can ask for, so a previous declaration is not required for that, however it also requires the previous year's RFR which would be impossible for a first time declarant, although it does say that anyone can do it.[8-)]
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'You would think it would be easy for the french authorities to check that all foreigners who are in the health system are actually registered for tax.  If it's all on computer a simple query would produce the sinners list.  Cracking down on these infringements and others such as cars not reged correctly just doesn't seem to be the french way.'

I just noticed this on another Finance thread: 'It may have slipped your notice that the financial and health care systems are linked and have been for some time, the Impots know exactly how your healthcare is provided and who by.' 

So yes, they don't bother to cross-check - yet!

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They do check and they, in north 24 anyway, were doing so last year.  I was requested to provide confirmation details of income, tax paid in UK and also how my health cover was provided (an E121 as it happens) for the years 2006 and  2007.  I have been full-time resident and making tax returns since 2003.

I received a letter from the Centre d'Impôts in Nontron requiring the information in February last year.

As a result of this and the subsequent dialogue with the Centre I have doubts if the information was cross-related  or, if cross-related, accessed by them, certainly at that time.

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Just one correction, the years for which information was requested were 2005 and 2006.

There was no indication as to why they were checking.  It appeared to be a "dip-check".

The letter, dated 29 Feb., 2008, started (in French) "As part of checking your file please be kind enough to provide the following information.:

- the proof of your pension and tax paid abroad, for the years 2005 and 2006

- proof of your health cover.

This request is made in conformity with the measures in article L.10 of the fiscal procedures book, which allows the administration to require information regarding the facts declared by taxpayers."

I went to the  Centre and, as a result of conversations with the staff, they appeared to know nothing about E Forms.  As a result I did a small paper giving an outline.  I also gave them a copy of the European Court ruling that CRDS was not applicable to certain income if the taxpayer was the holder of an E Form.

I have to say that they were very receptive and I have some evidence that they revised their procedures where they had been taking pensions, for example, into account when charging CRDS.

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They found out about us too - not that we were trying to hide, but for the first few years (from early 2002) we were back and forward a lot.

I had made one visit to the office and they said all our tax was paid in the UK so don't bother. We were getting bills for taxes F. and H. too.

Then in early 2004 we got a letter saying "where are your tax returns?" So we continued from there. 

Somehow the system had traced us.  Pat.

 

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