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· Registered
234 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is just to share my experience with something I dreaded as being similar to the US tax services (a.k.a. IRS), before working directly with the French similar service. After a terrible experience, with a professional "expat specialized" tax service, which screwed up a very simple return for me in 2021, I attempted to reach out directly to the French tax authority, in order to see what I could do to rectify the original filing, and eventually clarify all issues for 2021, and establish a good basis for 2022.

And this is when I had the first positive experience: instead of hours on the phone (i.e. dialing 800 or non-800 US numbers and various extensions, for many days of failed attempts and hours of waiting on hold, with IRS), communicating with the French service was possible simply by reserving a time slot online ("prendre un RDV"), and then being called back precisely at the reserved date and time. This led to a very meaningful and reassuring conversation with the agent, and instructions on how to rectify the mistakes made by the "specialists", then how and which email address to use to send the rectifications.

Second stage of surprisingly positive experience: having a little time today, I decided to pay a visit to the local "Centre des finances publiques", with no RDV ahead of time (!!), just to check on status, and see if I could learn something more about how these services work here. I arrived at 10:30AM, I got a ticket associated w/the order of arrival and processing, and I was able to see an agent within 15 minutes. I then spent with this person almost 30min, during which (with a patience to be admired, on their part, especially as I tend to "practice" my faulty French in areas where I am not an expert), I was explained in details all the mistakes made with the original 2021 filing (from wrong fields used, to wrong name in the wrong place (!)), then advised to come back to them for the 2022 filing (which will still need to be done on paper, because of the original f***-up, w/out time to get all my stuff available online), and with the promise that they will work with me, personally, to file all forms required, correctly, for last year.

I know many of you advised on avoiding paid services, when it comes to French taxes, and rather attempting to work with the "default" process, but I did not expect this to "look" so good (so far)! (y):)

· Administrator
54,636 Posts
I'm really tempted to say "we told you so" - but I won't. <gg> Having come from the US IRS system, I fully understand how skeptical you were about going direct to the local tax office. But even if you get the occasional "crabby" agent, the service is like day and night from the US one.

However, to be fair, the US Congress has spent decades cutting back on the budget for the IRS, including the day-to-day operations so that at this point, there is simply no one available to answer phone calls or to provide answers to taxpayers who are trying to fill out their tax forms. And you wonder why you get statistics like this (from the GAO - Government Accounting Office):
For tax year 2011, an estimated 56 percent of about 145 million individual tax returns were completed by a paid preparer.
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