Blogging Up The Works

Monday, February 22, 2016

Blogathon Day 22 - Counting the Pennies

Or the Cents.

The French tax year ends 31st December and so when we found our accountant last November he asked us to see him late Feb so he could work on our tax returns before he got really busy as all papers have to be filed by end of April and he tries not to let everyone leave it to the last minute. Anyway, today was that day.

The first pleasing thing is that it is just 4 sides of A4 paper and there are large bits where only one part needs filling in depending on how your business is set up. I think on the whole form there were only 12 boxes filled in and 5 of those were zeros. Even I can cope with the idea of that. It doesn't however stop the French complaining about how arduous it all is. When we were on our course last October we took in a UK tax return form just to prove they don't know when they are well off! The next good thing is that if you are "self employed", an auto-entrepreneur here, although you keep records of expenses you don't need to take too much notice as the tax authorities allow you 50% of your income for expenditure. You should be well inside with what you actually spent, indeed, if your costs are more than 50% you probably aren't an auto-ent but a small company, (Sarl), and then you do accurately claim your expenses, so again the tax system works the best way for you, not for the Government.

In the end we were with him for an hour whilst he did both our returns, which would be fast if it wasn't for the fact that half an hour was spent discussing the Magnificent M's pension, so was in effect even quicker. The problem with the pension is that she worked for a local authority and thus it is a government pension and thus she should pay tax in the UK on it. It has been complicated though by the fact that local government stopped running their own pensions and let Capita run them. Now, a pension paid by Capita is classed as a private pension which for an ex-pat means you pay tax in France. Luckiy he had some guidance notes which say, be careful if you have a government pension paid through Capita that you pay in the correct country. The only problem is it doesn't tell you which it should be. So our accountant did what you hope he will do. He has decided that as the pension has so far been taxed at source in the UK then for the year 2015 we pay there, which is good because in the UK, lump sum pension payouts are tax free but taxed in France. Now he is going to check whether from now we can pay in France because if so then the monthly pension would be tax free. Fingers crossed!

And good news, I haven't got any income tax to pay either because the allowances are quite high here and I didn't earn enough. Which is fine by me.


  • All this tax avoidance!
    For one minute, I thought I was reading Jimmy Carr's blog, not yours!

    By Blogger Masher, At 5:12 AM  

  • Tax affairs are bloody complicated! Needlessly so (in the UK). I've had three letters from HMR&C in the last eight weeks to tell me my tax code has changed. And I'm on PAYE (and have been for the last five years, because I stopped working through my MSC and went to an umbrella company).

    By Blogger Brennig, At 8:58 PM  

  • Before the merger of Tax and Customs & Excise it took me five years to get C & E to stop demanding VAT payments when the company had been wound up those five years before.

    By Blogger kennamatic, At 9:24 PM  

  • I've had two new tax codes already this year.
    I fully expect to get another one before April.

    By Blogger Masher, At 9:53 PM  

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