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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi, I spent a lot of time researching french tax laws and they are simply disgusting. I am single but my heirs are neices and nephews and if u die resident in france then your worldwide assets fall under french inheritance laws. If you have substantial assets or are considering investing in france then dont move there as residents buy a second home and spend six months a year then you dont need to worry about the tax laws otherwise u will be really sorry when u find out the facts. As Bev mentioned only immovable property outside france is not tied up in their tax laws...but all worldwide movable property including cash investments, bonds, stocks, fixed deposits etc all fall under the taxation and its pretty high especially if your inheritance goes to someone other than your children....even in case of children its like 45% and for others is more like 65% ...worst if is you buy a million euro property in france and die then the government gives ur heirs an option to get a loan and repay 65% of the value over several years or sell the property and pay upfront. There is also a horrible wealth tax in france research that if u havent already.

I found out that all the rich foreigners living in france are not residents there - they own properties with mortgages cleverly so only the equity in those properties are taxed in france for wealth tax and inheritance tax purposes (all property owned in france will be taxed regardless of ur residency status there)...and none of these foreigners spend more than six months a year in france...the cost of being fiscally resident in france is ridiculous and totally unfair but i believe its worse in spain...the only good latin european country in this regard is italy as they have no wealth tax and inheritance tax i think is maximum 5% which is very less. As I said if u love france....get a cheap second home or property with a mortgage and spend six month a year without becoming residents there...not only are tax laws horrible, the bureaucracy is a nightmare to deal with. Even if u buy an expensive car in france an enquiry is sent automatically by the car dealership to the tax office and u will get a letter in the mail....france may be a slow country for many reasons but when it comes to taxing people they have a very efficient and fast system.

Spent a year in France and left....now just visit when i feel like and satisfy myself.....believe me its a much better way of enjoying france without all that stress.
I think several of us on this forum do try to stress to newbies that moving to a country, as opposed to visiting a country on holiday, involves understanding and accepting that country's laws, values, priorities, obligations, cuture etc. France isn't the UK/Belgium/wherever with a different climate and different scenery. However much you love what you see on the surface, it is all underpinned by strict laws that bind it all together and make France what it is. It's no good moving to a country if its laws and culture are going to be unpalatable to you, because as you say you will only be creating endless stress for yourself. It's naive to expect there not to be downsides to wherever you live - find them out before you go, all the information that you are jumping up and down about is easily available on the internet and shouldn't have come as a surprise to you. Countries are a bit like people, you can't say whether you love them enough to stick by them until you know their faults as well as their good points. If you do go in blind, yes you will probably end up feeling bitter and having a sour-grapes rant about how 'unfair' it was that you didn't like what you found.

Taxes ARE very high, it IS hard to understand the system if you don't speak French, and French succession laws ARE more restrictive that many countries'. There's good and bad aspects to all these things. If you personally find that they disgust you, France obviously isn't the place for you, and your mistake was to do your research after you arrived and not before.

This is a great post because it highlights to other people how important it is to look before you leap - perhaps it should be made compulsory reading!

(EDIT - just to clarify the succession taxes in particular so as not to panic people, because the figures aren't as quoted above, for instance it's nowhere near 45% for children unless your propery is worth literally millions:
http://www.impots.gouv.fr/portal/dgi/public/popup?espId=1&typePage=cpr02&docOid=documentstandard_364)
 

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Upon my word, EuroT, you have a way with words. I'm with you 100%. Living in a country and being subject to its laws of tax, inheritance, property etc is very different from the non representative view of the tourist.

You have reminded me of that old stereotype joke.....heaven is where the cooks are French, the policemen British, the cars made by Germans etc etc. Hell is where the cooks are British, the policemen from Italy and the jokes from the Germans. Can anyone quote the original?

DejW
 

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Well i was talking about the highest taxable rates, usually people concerned with tax issues are those with a lot to lose and its important to know the rules in france as they are very complex. In UK also rules are complex but there are many loopholes in Uk tax laws - legal loopholes and ways u can legally avoid taxes by proper planning but then who wants to live in Uk really?

France is unfair to the rich everyone says this - and its quite stupid to tax the rich at that level that u chase them all away. Rich people are creators of jobs and big economic spenders...they are not normally taxed in france at all nor are they taxed fairly at all....rather they are looted left and right and punished to live in a country they love thats why they are all leaving and that is causing even more problems for france. Also france has become a very jealous society because people arent happy there at all...the basic security provided by government is no longer enough to sustain a good lifestyle ...most french people are stressed out and depressed really...they all complain about money and cant afford many things. I think france needs a major overhaul....sorry for going off topic...just re visited france and spent a month there...the first ten days i was very happy and then it all went down...paris has more beggars and more poverty than ever before...the few french friends I had before are all stressed out and going mental....their sadness is too heavy for me...couldnt wait to get out again...france could be the best country in the world if they were more open minded like britain or usa in regards to economy.
 

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Hi Moving!

You've hit the nail on the head with your laser type precision. If France were more.... Well, countries and people are as they are. As we are talking mainly about democracies there is a simple answer. Adopt French nationality and vote for a French president and Government that is closer to your ideas.

FWIW, I think that a major crunch point is coming in France, Hollande is in trouble, the economy is in difficulty, there may be debt crisis next year etc. Something is going to go "bang" soon in France.

DejW


Well........snip

....snip out and going mental....their sadness is too heavy for me...couldnt wait to get out again...france could be the best country in the world if they were more open minded like britain or usa in regards to economy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well i was talking about the highest taxable rates, usually people concerned with tax issues are those with a lot to lose and its important to know the rules in france as they are very complex.
I don't think we need worry too much about poor naive superich moguls moving to France because they like the sandy beaches and then finding they're going to get fleeced. If you're in that category, you have an army of financial advisors and tax consultants to advise you where to place your assets.


As regards the rest, its's no secret that France is going through a bad time, but the solution has to be hammered out by people who understand and care about what France is built on and what it represents, and who want to turn it into a stronger country but not at the cost of sacrificing its cultural identity and its soul.
who wants to live in Uk really? ....
france could be the best country in the world if they were more open minded like britain
- but then, as you say yourself, if France was more like the UK who would want to live in France really?
 

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Lol if i were super rich i wouldnt worry abt anything...and the superrich moguls would never move to france they would go to monaco or live on their boat....and those people anyways cant stay more than a few weeks in any one place they get bored easily....

I was looking at france as a country to invest, diversify and have a base there but even with my little money its very difficult and not a good system to deal with so i gave up. France is headed towards a major problem i think....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
France is traditionally a socialist country. 'Don't ask what France can do for you, ask first what you can do for France' - if anyone said this in the UK it would be taken as a joke, in France it's not a joke, or at least it didn't used to be. You're absolutely right, France isn't the right place if you want to get rich quick. If you do well you're expected to be a good socialist, show solidarity with your compatriots and help those who are less fortunate than you, rather than keeping all the profit yourself.
I think, or would like to think, that people still support the idea, but they hate the way the goverment is making such a pig's ear of putting it into practise.
 

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Hey Moving, long time no see! But you're in Belgium now?

Lots of French millionaires fled to Belgium when the wealth tax was reinstated here, but I did some research into Belgian income taxes, and those can be pretty brutal, too. As I recall, in Belgium, you tally up all your income from all sources to see what tax "bracket" you're in. You then take your deductions - but from the lowest tax brackets first.

Evidently you and Gerard Depardieu don't find this a problem, but I know it would drive me nuts. (Then again, I've never had the issue of being in the upper tax brackets... nor having to worry about inheritance taxes.)

Point being that every country has its own take on taxes. You're fortunate in that you have the mobility to relocate to where the taxes are more to your liking. Most folks don't have that option. You live in the country, you pay taxes according to the laws there.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hey Moving, long time no see! But you're in Belgium now?

Lots of French millionaires fled to Belgium when the wealth tax was reinstated here, but I did some research into Belgian income taxes, and those can be pretty brutal, too. As I recall, in Belgium, you tally up all your income from all sources to see what tax "bracket" you're in. You then take your deductions - but from the lowest tax brackets first.

Evidently you and Gerard Depardieu don't find this a problem, but I know it would drive me nuts. (Then again, I've never had the issue of being in the upper tax brackets... nor having to worry about inheritance taxes.)

Point being that every country has its own take on taxes. You're fortunate in that you have the mobility to relocate to where the taxes are more to your liking. Most folks don't have that option. You live in the country, you pay taxes according to the laws there.
Cheers,
Bev
Belgian taxes are brutal only for salaried people yes its very unfair. For those who earn investment income or what is called unearned income - they pay almost zero tax in Belgium and there is no wealth tax as well as several ways to avoid inheritance taxes completely. Yep belgian is a secret tax haven but for working people its very heavily taxed...bowever the cost of living is way cheaper than france but it rains a lot more and is very gloomy plus belgians are boring as hell....lol.

Im actually bored of Belgium and Europe in general..i like visiting france for the food and culture but living there full time is too heavy for me...lol...as for belgium its the most boring place ive lived in i really really hate it who cares about taxes if the country is such a dead beat place to live...and their biggest achievements are tintin and french fries its a country that should have never existed and been part of netherlands and france......i am looking for a new country now..somewhere with energy and possibilities and a future..the future of Europe scares me ..anyway for now im just looking for a country to go spend a year and have lots of fun..any suggestions?
 

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Well, I hope you find that mythical country where life is beautiful all the time and the taxes are to your liking. My take is that, if you live in a country and enjoy its lifestyle and benefits (in both the fiscal and recreational sense) then you ought to be contributing toward the maintenance of the place.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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France is traditionally a socialist country. 'Don't ask what France can do for you, ask first what you can do for France' - if anyone said this in the UK it would be taken as a joke, in France it's not a joke, or at least it didn't used to be. You're absolutely right, France isn't the right place if you want to get rich quick. If you do well you're expected to be a good socialist, show solidarity with your compatriots and help those who are less fortunate than you, rather than keeping all the profit yourself.
I think, or would like to think, that people still support the idea, but they hate the way the goverment is making such a pig's ear of putting it into practise.
Hi,
Ever since I have been in France , I have seen ever-increasing taxes and contributions justified in the name of "solidarity".
As an independent observer , it appears to me that governments of both left and (so-called) right, appeal to this mythical "solidarity" and also "republican values" (both never actually defined) to make people accept being fleeced so that government can pander to its client groups.
For instance, the fonctionnaires (7+ million) , SNCF, EDF, Banque de France, all of which enjoy pay, pensions, and privileges that the ordinary workers and businesspeople, who create the wealth squandered by their rulers, can only dream of. Add to these the approx. 1 million elected representatives with all their perks , and you have some idea of the huge parasitical apparatus riding on the backs of the rest of the citizens.
Recently , due mainly to the total ineptitude and immobilism of the present "government", it appears that the people are beginning to see through the smokescreen of "solidarity" to the truth of how they have been lied to and dunned for over 30years.
The "bonnets rouges" and the road hauliers may be just the beginning of a real upheaval in this potentially great country.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi,
Ever since I have been in France , I have seen ever-increasing taxes and contributions justified in the name of "solidarity".
As an independent observer , it appears to me that governments of both left and (so-called) right, appeal to this mythical "solidarity" and also "republican values" (both never actually defined) to make people accept being fleeced so that government can pander to its client groups.
For instance, the fonctionnaires (7+ million) , SNCF, EDF, Banque de France, all of which enjoy pay, pensions, and privileges that the ordinary workers and businesspeople, who create the wealth squandered by their rulers, can only dream of. Add to these the approx. 1 million elected representatives with all their perks , and you have some idea of the huge parasitical apparatus riding on the backs of the rest of the citizens.
Recently , due mainly to the total ineptitude and immobilism of the present "government", it appears that the people are beginning to see through the smokescreen of "solidarity" to the truth of how they have been lied to and dunned for over 30years.
The "bonnets rouges" and the road hauliers may be just the beginning of a real upheaval in this potentially great country.
Spot on.

Many many years ago, it must have been after CMU-C was introduced or extended or improved or something, I took a taxi in Paris and the taxi driver was proudly explaining to me how this marvellous brand new system was going to work, and telling me what a great thing it would be for France, because now the whole country was going to contribute according to their means to create fair social security system that would make a real difference to people's lives.

When you had a nation that was capable of feeling solidarity and was willing to contribute to create a better France, how can you not hate the successive governments who through incompetence or intentional exploitation have turned it all sour.
 

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Yes, it's interesting, there are 2 words that I cannot translate into English, despite help from my French wife. These are:

Solidarité - no, it's not the same as solidarity in English. It appears that in France, apart from taxes etc one only speaks of solidarité, one does not "do" solidarité. Words not actions.

Républicain. Both Sarkozy and Hollande (and all ministers) say that they are R. What does it mean, I am not royaliste / monarchist? I think it means I am warm and cuddly and will always say that I do the best for France (words not actions)

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH, I've used some French words, naughty me. How should I write this post "I want to use the word in French that means "solidarity" in English. ho hum.

DejW
 

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I am amused by that type of political vocabulary, because it's the exact same meaningless political fuzziness that you get with a different set of political vocabulary in the US. For example, "hard-working, middle class Americans," "heartland (as in heartland values or THE heartland)," "independent farmers," etc.
 

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To avoid using non-English, may I suggest

1) "togetherness - all for one, and one for me"
2) "self-interested but I won't admit to it" ?

:D

H the Cynic x
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
But isn't having a 'manifestation' (another false friend) an example of doing 'solidarity'? They do that all right.
 

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Wow, and I used to take pride in the fact that the French folks I know call me "cynical!" <g>

Many years ago DH explained to me that in France, we are still living in a monarchy. Frankly, the system of government here hasn't changed that much since before La Révolution - and DeGaulle set up the 5th Republic to assure that he got to be king. But every once in a while they hold elections so we can shuffle the players and their roles around.

But there is also the little matter of the overall morosity (?) - moroseness (?) - of the French people and their culture. Certainly as long as I have been living here, the president is an idiot and generally the most hated man in France (no matter who is currently in office), the politicians are all crooked and soaking up undeserved perks, the whole country is going to hell in a handcart, and whenever any change of any magnitude is proposed (whether to try to help things or to make them worse) the masses take to the streets to protest.

Plus ça change....
Cheers,
Bev
 

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... and you think that applies only to France ???
 

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Wow, and I used to take pride in the fact that the French folks I know call me "cynical!" <g>

Many years ago DH explained to me that in France, we are still living in a monarchy. Frankly, the system of government here hasn't changed that much since before La Révolution - and DeGaulle set up the 5th Republic to assure that he got to be king. But every once in a while they hold elections so we can shuffle the players and their roles around.

But there is also the little matter of the overall morosity (?) - moroseness (?) - of the French people and their culture. Certainly as long as I have been living here, the president is an idiot and generally the most hated man in France (no matter who is currently in office), the politicians are all crooked and soaking up undeserved perks, the whole country is going to hell in a handcart, and whenever any change of any magnitude is proposed (whether to try to help things or to make them worse) the masses take to the streets to protest.

Plus ça change....
Cheers,
Bev
You can take that little speech and substitute "France" with "UK", Spain" and most other countries. Corruption and nepotism are as strong now as they were before Marie Antoinette suggested the proletariat ate cake. Bring on the Scarlet Pimple and Kenneth Williams' "Infamy, Infamy, everybody's got it in for me!"
 

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Yeah, but only France really gets into taking to the streets, tearing down the eco-taxe structures over the highway, stopping the public transit system and all the other "fun" elements of greves and manifs! (Saw the film of Les Mis on the flight over to the States in September and realized that I had never appreciated the cultural side of the musical until now.)

With all the fuss going on right now in the US with people honked off about Congress doing nothing, and the whole health care thing going poorly, there are no marches, no tires alight in the middle of the roads, no real outrage - not really any serious threat even to "vote the b'stards out" come the next elections. (Thanks, I suppose, to the gerrymander... but I digress.)

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!
------ Les Mis

That was 1832. Anyone remember what that one was about? (Some great music, though...)
Cheers,
Bev
 
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