Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The Tax Man

Or woman. Yes the dreaded tax folk are here too and yesterday morning's post brought a letter from them saying that we should have filled in a declaration for 2008 and that it was meant to have reached them by 29 May 2009. Yikes. There was me thinking that as I'd had a letter from the UK tax office for a return for April 08 to April 09 then our tax affairs here wouldn't start until this year, therefore first French filing in 2010. But no.

So we downloaded the forms and made of them what we could, then today went along to our closest office in Mamers. We arrived at 3.13pm and, after explaining what we needed - help, were given a ticket and asked to take a seat. the ticket said 42 mins waiting time. Having noticed as we came in that closing time was 4pm (!!!!) we wondered if we might be told to push off and come back another day. However, the queue dwindled (only 2 folk in front of us) and we were hopeful for a speedy exodus. Ho no. The lady in front of us took AGES and 4pm came and went. The front office shut up and the man bid us Bonsoir; the folk from 'upstairs' packed up and left and bid us Bonsoir. We feared that we might be locked in for the night. But at 4.15pm the door to the little consulting office creaked open, a photocopy was made of the lady's tax return, the clerk bid her Bonsoir, then smiled wearily at us and invited us in to said consulting room. It was a small room and hot. As we as a family number 5 now, all 6 of us was a squeeze in this room. However, the boys got out their toy cars and played happily under the table whilst we tried to explain in French what we didn't understand. Happily it was quite simple and straightforward, or at least the man said it was. What we don't know is if it really was, or were we being let off lightly due to horrendous wafts coming up from the urchins playing on the floor - Rowan's rear end and Brodie's feet, plus Sammy filling his nappy? All in a hot sweaty room and past closing time. Guess that's one way to speed up the procedings. Bet the tax man got a good impression of us Brits!

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