So in France you receive a tax bill for the current year based on what you were assessed the previous year. You then pay that bill in payments so that by the time that year’s taxes are due, you will ostensibly be “ahead of the game.” Of course, this depends on your income stability. If you make a lot more money this year than last year, then those payments are simply a down payment on your future tax bill. Conversely, if you are unemployed, you will still be paying into the system at the rate you did when you were employed.
Wait, Stephen, I thought you said I didn’t have to pay taxes? You’re right, as a visitor, I don’t have to pay taxes, but I still have to file and declare taxes.
But the French government didn’t do their sums correctly, and I had to do a bit of correspondence with them to fix it. In this blog post I told you that they recognized this error but they ended up only removing some of the amount, so I had to write another letter explaining that I didn’t owe anything. It only took four months and two letters. 🙂
But the person who issued my corrections didn’t update my file, because I got a notice to start paying taxes based on last year’s amount…which I got dismissed. So I had to draft another letter explaining (with photocopies of the dismissals) that not only did I not owe taxes for the 2014 taxes, but I did not owe advance payments for 2016, as I wouldn’t have any tax liability in 2015 either. I only moved to my right to work status in January so next year I will actually owe something.
Remember in dealing with the French: be patient, have your documentation to the Nth degree and backups, and trust the process. The fastest road to frustration is to imagine you are entitled to anything.
I expect to get a dismissal of my current tax bill. I’ll let you know if something else happens.