Thursday, June 03, 2010

Taxed Untaxed

My lawyer rang me while I was in the car driving home yesterday lunch time.
"Am I disturbing you?" she asked.
"Oh, no no," I lied, hurriedly trying to find a spot to park, and failing.
"Could you fax me your Avis d'Impots for 2007, 2008 and your déclaration for 2009?" she said.
"I haven't done my impots for 2009 yet" said I, thinking that the deadline is coming up (Départements 20-49: June 17).
"Not to worry then, it's less important than the others" she said.

Which of course spurred me to do my tax form when I got home, timed at 15 minutes. My life is that simple.

Well, when you're a mere employee with nothing but pension alimentaire to add, it takes no time at all. The company you work for sends the tax office your earnings, your bank sends any interest on savings to be taxed, so all you have to do is add up the dosh your ex-h reluctantly sent, remind them that you're a SINGLE mother, not a co-habiting one (changes a LOT, that does!), sign it electronically, and Bob's yer uncle.

Oh, I also told them I sent some money to support Avaaz on a couple of projects because you can claim money you send to charities back. As it's a US organisation I'll be interested to see if they accept my claim.

It was a lot more complicated when I was married and it's lovely to feel it's all thrown off now I'm divorced. The complicated stuff was all his anyway. We had something like 5 different never-ending forms to fill in. It was a nightmare! It was also before the days of the electronic déclaration so I'd have to fill in all the forms twice and then, as we were usually cutting it reeeeeally fine, we'd have to jump in the car just before midnight and dash to the tax office.

More often than not there would be a load of other people there and the atmosphere was much like a party with happy folk who'd beat the deadline, desperate ones trying to make the deadline, and finally resigned/angry ones who'd just failed the deadline.

Tax time was incredibly stressful but now it's a matter of a couple of clicks and a polite thank you message when you're finished. And I certainly don't miss the party.


  1. 15 minutes top chrono? wow, you must be a very organised lady even if you didn't have lots of forms to fill in! argghhhhhh! I missed the paper deadline so had to do the online one! Spent all afternoon yesterday struggling with it and I'm sure I did loads of it wrong... It kept timing out which was highly annoying. I should have got the accountant to do it like last year but I thought surely it couldn't be that hard. I was wrong and then it was too late to get an appointment! You need a degree in legal French to understand their bloody forms...

  2. At this time of the year, this is something I definitely miss about the UK. I don't think I ever had to fill in a tax return there. I've been doing it for 20 years here now, but it's still always a nightmare.

  3. I am so used to the blasted forms by now...but the local tax office are very helpful if there are problems..... cocked up the maths one year and a delightful lady sent me a letter, showing me where she thought I had gone wrong, suggested a correction and all was well.

  4. Piglet - I'm not organised, just employed. It makes life a lot easier. Our local mairie has tax help sessions where you can go if it's all too confusing. They are free consultations too. :)

    PG - I know the nightmare form filling. I'd be having kittens at the thought I was doing it wrong. Really we needed an accountant but my ex was too stingy to pay for one.

    Fly - I've found the tax office staff to be invariably helpful and friendly too.

  5. Oh you are lucky to have it all simple. Because we have the UK company and the French one (which we have closed now although the authorities are so bloody slow we are still paying, some six months on) it is all a bit too much for me and we pay an accountant here and in the UK to sort it all out.

    Mind you the three months Mr FF spent working in Paris this year and receiving payslips was an eye opener. I had never thought there would be so much written on a French salary slip.

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  7. FF - your fiscal situation sounds horrendous. I hope the accountants do a good job!

    Mr Tapas - I suspect you of slipping in a bit of a ad there but as you are being discreet about it I'll let it stay.

  8. Tax has become far too complicated. Keep it simple it costs far less to collect.


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