Tuesday, 25 March 2008

The Taxman Cometh.....

In France we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our Impot Sur Les Revenus forms for 2007.

One of the joys here, in our experience, is that although there is a wealth of red tape - we have always found very helpful officials to go through it with us.

Our first memorable experience - completing our first ever French declaration of income form. This saw us dashing off to the Impot office in Bedarieux to ask for help. The lady behind the desk just said: Oh, give it here! She filled in our two figures, asked for our signatures and put it in her out tray.
That was easy!!!!

Our next memorable experience - same form, same reaction. The lady behind the desk tried to do the same but we said WAIT! We have earned a little extra this year keeping an eye on a friend's holiday home.
Oh pleeeeeease! she said. Just forget about it - we don't bother with such little amounts!!!!
We liked that!!

Today we received a letter from Le Controleur Des Impots. Oh dear - the head man for our region writing to us?! NOW THAT IS WORRYING!!

After examining our file, it has come to his attention that we have acquired an apartment with the intention of renting it out......and he is inviting us to complete an attached form at our earliest convenience.

Uh Oh! What the hell are we supposed to put in all these little boxes?!

So off we went to the Impot office to ask for an appointment. Richard approached the front counter and asked if he could book a rendez-vous.

The lady read the letter and said to go upstairs.

Richard approached the first floor front counter, where a gentleman attended to him immediately. Richard explained that he wanted to make an appointment. The gentleman read the letter and said " Come in now - I am free". He was the head man, le Controleur Des Impot for our region himself!!

None of this business of your UK tax office being based in Glasgow whilst your wife's is in Cardiff!!! And both as far away from where you live as possible to discourage personal visits!

Here the head honcho himself actually speaks to members of the public who turn up at the front counter and is happy to see them immediately?!

We were gobsmacked, and Richard was desperately back tracking....but I am not prepared!
I have not got all my papers with me!
I don't know what questions to ask yet!
We are worried that you are going to be angry because we did not know about this form, and did not fill it in when we bought the apartment 5 months ago!

It's OK, Monsieur, we don't worry too much about forms so don't panic. Just give me a phone call when you want to pop in and I will be here waiting......

I LOVE the Taxman!!!

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