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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I keep catching bits and pieces of the latest news stories about France considering (for the umteenth time) withholding income tax at the source for salaries and other sources of income.

Actually, I think the current system works rather well (well, for me, anyhow) - and it dawns on me that just about everyone from the forum here has lived in countries where your paycheck has always been docked for both income tax and social insurances.

So what's the big deal? (Other than the usual French resistance to change?) I can see some issues in the transition year, sure. But I always thought that the main reason the French avoided payroll withholding was to avoid demonstrating to the workers, peasants and soldiers just how much "tax" they are paying in total.

Or as the Chinese say, "may we live in 'interesting' times..."
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I think it has a great deal to do with the French attitude towards money. While it is acceptable for you to reveal your income/assets to the French, in fact this information is gladly received, don't expect any information in return. They cultivate the art of secrecy about everything financial (this is of course a generalisation, there are many exceptions, but it is what I have mainly encountered in all my years here).

So the idea that anyone other than the taxman and their bank manager knowing about their income brings out an allergic reaction which I don't think will ever change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's funny, though, because when I got to Germany I admit I was a little bit surprised at the information you were supposed to give your employer so that they could withhold the proper amount of taxes (though you still had to file at the end of the year to settle up on any non-salary items).

In the States, the system allows you to give very limited information to your employer, with the result that responsibility for having something like 80 or 90 % of your ultimate tax bill withheld before the tax filing date. If you think your employer will fall short, you are supposed to file quarterly "estimates" directly with the IRS. Actually, most folks opt to be over-withheld so that they get a refund from the government.

And in a couple other places I've researched, if your only income is your salary, you don't even have to file at the end of the year. Which puts the onus on the employer to withhold the correct amount.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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During 30+ years of paid work I never had to fill in a tax form in th UK - and 6 already in France, though it has to be said that the form I receive is 95% complete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
During 30+ years of paid work I never had to fill in a tax form in th UK - and 6 already in France, though it has to be said that the form I receive is 95% complete.
I was seriously impressed when they started doing the "pre-rempli" forms here. The US has talked about that any number of times, but apparently they don't want to run the paid tax preparers out of business or some such excuse.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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There are multiple issues, for example:

*If they start deducting tax in 2016, many people will still be in the process of paying their tax for this year, or will get their bill for next year in October and clearly that would have a drastic impact on family budgets - in short, a simple switch would involve paying double tax the first year. It looks like they will ignore the tax on earnings for the year prior to introduction (that will have little or no impact on the budgets of the various levels of govt).
*Many people receive various forms of govt aid based on their avis d'impots - if they ignore the tax for one year then may people could miss out on that assistance. It seems they might require a declaration to be submitted for the prior year, not for the purpose of charging tax, but for the purpose of providing the various forms of assistance.
*Privacy issues. They are looking at a system that allows constant adjustment of tax deducted at source to provide for the changing circumstances of taxpayers. They will also make provision for parts and other concessions. This would involve employees providing quite significant amounts of personal information to the employer. As I understand it, they haven't sorted this out as yet.

There are other issues. However it seems they have been working through them and there is a real chance they will implement tax at source some time during 2016.
 
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