Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
856 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few weeks ago I wanted advice on how to fill out my French Tax Return for Year Ended 31 Dec 2014. I am glad to say that is now resolved thanks to the advice of a neighbour who speaks English and has lived here for about 30 years and also from answers on this Forum and I have filed my Return on-line and before the deadline.

Now the issue is that French Businesses seem very loathe to take on new business. Before my neighbour helped me with the Return I had typed a letter to a local Firm of Experts Comptable, located 10 minutes walk from my apartment and had written to them in both English and Google Traduction French explaining my situation and query and asking the, if they would act for me in this matter and advise me of their fees. I hand delivered the letter into their mailbox.

Since then I have heard absolutely nothing from them and as I say I have now resolved the issue and filed my return at no cost. There non-response is totally strange to me as a UK firm of Chartered Accountants or no doubt a US one of CPAs would have answered me very quickly either to say they were prepared to act for me at a fee of so many £ or $, or conversely to say that they did not do such business but where only involved with Corporates or Self Employed people.

I find this lack of any reply both puzzling and discourteous.

Has anyone else here had such a negative experience with French Professionals or Businesses?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,439 Posts
You've asked about this before, and as best I can figure, the problem is that the experts comptables may not have understood what you were asking. To my knowledge, individuals here don't generally engage an expert comptable. They usually do business with small businesses - to do their overall accounting (filing results, etc.) or to certify their results. While they do prepare the various tax documents that come up in the course of the business year, they generally do so as part of their overall accounting services. You might take a look at the Onisep description of what experts comptables do: Audit, conseil, comptabilité : indispensables aux entreprises - Onisep

In fact, in 20 years of living here, I'm not aware of anyone who has their taxes done by a paid tax preparer, other than small business owners - and my sister in law, who relies on the now-retired expert comptable who used to do her parents' business accounts. (But I think he only does her taxes for her as a long-time family friend.)

Just out of curiosity, do any of the expats here on the forum use a paid tax preparer for their French declarations?
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
856 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Matter resolved

Thankfully as I have said the matter is resolved and from now on I expect to be able to do each year's Tax Return in my own as my affairs are not complicated as a wage paid employee with no other incomes in France and only a couple of small Annuities from old pensions in the UK which as soon as the new Government in the UK changes the law I will surrender for a lump sum.

Doctors apart, with which I have no problem, the only French Professional I am ever likely to need is a Notarie (Solicitor) and hopefully only for matters such as making a will.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
526 Posts
I needed to borrow some money from the bank to finish my adventurous projects. I rang various companies, made an appointment, explained my projects and business plan and they posted me their estimates a couple of weeks later. All astronomical; they would have cost me more for the first couple of years than I made!

I have found the people in the tax office very helpful (and free).

Congratulations on getting it done!

Gypsycob x
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,609 Posts
My most used expression when phoning back home is:

"I don't know how anyone over here makes a living."

You'll be using it before long. :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,436 Posts
The thing is that an ordinary French accountant probably has absolutely no idea what you were talking about because 1.You used Google translator!!!!! and 2. more importantly they probably have never heard of the Anglo French tax treaty and the subtleties of which pensions attract social charges which do not and how does having an S1 affect it?So as to not lose face they probably decided to ignore you as you were a funny foreigner.
Personally I have always found the tax people really helpful;they showed me what to put where on what form and once you have done it a couple of times it is actually quite straightforward.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,439 Posts
All very true - but I'm still looking to find anyone here on the forum who uses a paid tax preparer of any sort for their French taxes. I confess to using a tax preparation software, ClickImpôt, but largely because my French husband started using it years ago, and it was the quickest way for me to pick up where everything is supposed to go - at least for his investments and such. (It doesn't do much for foreign source income - though I'm an accountant by trade and so can kind of finagle my way through the official explanations, even in French.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,633 Posts
I agree that google translator is a useful tool but has limitations and rarely gives a perfect translation, especially if the subject is fairly specialised as is the case here.

I certainly wouldn't trust it with my letters unless I had someone who could check them for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
286 Posts
I agree that google translator is a useful tool but has limitations and rarely gives a perfect translation, especially if the subject is fairly specialised as is the case here.

I certainly wouldn't trust it with my letters unless I had someone who could check them for me.
I agree. When Yelp translates my English restaurant reviews on the French site to English, I become mortified that English people reading it will think that's how I write lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
483 Posts
I use a French accountant, but that's because I am registered as a professional liberale. And, I will probably use him even when I retire since I don't know anything at all about the French tax forms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
737 Posts
I find it strange

in my experience of many years here the vast majority of functionaires here are set on doing as little work as possible in the shortest possible hours and retiring as early as they can ; no wonder 80% of university students say being a functionaire is the best career

but the tax office ? when I turn up [ without an appointment ] they are unfailingly helpful and go to great lengths to ensure that I understand their systems and get everything correct ; a bit late ? no problem ...if you had sent a letter we probably wouldn't have looked at it for a couple of weeks at this time of year they say !

only failed once [ my helpless englishman act that is ] , turned up ...they were on strike for the day .....it provided a pont for a holiday ...strange that !
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
18,642 Posts
I find it strange

in my experience of many years here the vast majority of functionaires here are set on doing as little work as possible in the shortest possible hours and retiring as early as they can ; no wonder 80% of university students say being a functionaire is the best career

but the tax office ? when I turn up [ without an appointment ] they are unfailingly helpful and go to great lengths to ensure that I understand their systems and get everything correct ; a bit late ? no problem ...if you had sent a letter we probably wouldn't have looked at it for a couple of weeks at this time of year they say !

only failed once [ my helpless englishman act that is ] , turned up ...they were on strike for the day .....it provided a pont for a holiday ...strange that !
Rest assured that you have not encountered the vast majority of fonctionnaires. My experience is that, no matter where they live, people denigrate their public servants in this way (although not as much as real estate agents and used car salesmen), generally without having a clue about what they actually do - the attitude seems to be that 'you're a public servant, I pay your wages, you have to do whatever I want whenever I want and I don't care about the rules you're required to follow except when they aren't applied to people I don't like.'
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,633 Posts
Rest assured that you have not encountered the vast majority of fonctionnaires. My experience is that, no matter where they live, people denigrate their public servants in this way (although not as much as real estate agents and used car salesmen), generally without having a clue about what they actually do - the attitude seems to be that 'you're a public servant, I pay your wages, you have to do whatever I want whenever I want and I don't care about the rules you're required to follow except when they aren't applied to people I don't like.'
I agree. Perhaps if some of those who complain had to spend day after day dealing with people who are not all patient, not all French speaking, not all polite, etc etc they would find that they too rapidly become as obnoxious as those they are dealing with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
737 Posts
well , after 26 years I think I have met more functionaires than most here

my biggest problem is that they seem to have their own version of the regulations and on a number of occasions I have asked for clarification from someone more senior only to be told .....nothing I can do about it

wheras I have always found the opposite from the tax people ...on one occasion I was sent off to see the chief at the main office for the department , went through the rules and was told ....you clearly have studied this carefully so we will take it that you are correct !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,633 Posts
Different situations, different public, different power balance.

I've met quite a few too in 38 years.... was one myself for 30..... :boxing:
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
50,439 Posts
OK, OK, - let's just acknowledge that, fair or not, grousing about civil servants tends to be something of a national sport, not only here in France but also in many other places. (When I lived in the Chicago area, it took on even larger proportions due to the patronage system in place in the city. No idea if it's still in operation there.)

The traditional reasons for it lie in the increased job security many civil servants have (or appear to have) and rumors or indications that salaries in civil service may not be nearly as reduced as sometimes claimed.

Then, if you really want something to grouse about, we could move on to the Enarques, who are (by most standards) overpaid, and have what amounts to an amazing job security here. But, I digress...
Cheers,
Bev
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top