Tax Me Not!

Posted by Analyse at 3:35 PM

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Every French household has surely got that inevitable black plastic envelope in their mailbox early this week, which, if you don’t pay much attention, could easily be mistaken as publicités (advertising magazines). I automatically junked it in the yellow bin last year thinking it was one of those weekly dose of publicité again - inspite of the big ‘Pas de Pub, SVP’ on our mailbox. Thanks goodness we could declare it by internet. This piece of technology really does wonders.

Since it will be my first ever tax declaration, I guess it’s just normal to know where my hard-earned money goes. And so I learned:

1. To reduce the public deficit - this year's deficit is estimated at ~15%. One budget allocation which most nationalistic Frenchies could rant about is the budget for EU aide. Let's take a classic example: agriculture. A farmer from East Europe got a financial aid from EU and bought a top-of-the-class tractor, saw his productivity growing, and sold potatoes in France. Logically, a french buyer will purchase the less expensive potato (from East Europe) rather than the quality-guaranteed French potatoes. Buy French! - ah, if you've got a tight budget, what would you do?

2. To support the growth and employment - Well, this is a good objective. I just hope they could stop those companies from packing their baggages and install somewhere else.

3. To act for social justice - Among others, the government promises to improve the buying power of the French population. They already started by lowering the prices of basic commodities...hmm, this is kinda delicate and should be balanced. It shouldn't push the industries to produce outside to be able to sell at lower prices in France.

4. To ensure the financing of different priorities - On top of the list is RESEARCH. Two thumbs up! This step would ensure long-term solution, profit-generating activity, work for the population, and competitiveness vis-à-vis the international community. Isn't that great?

So where in the world do they get their budget to finance all these?

In fact, the biggest source of government income is the mighty VAT which represents ~42% of the total income. And why not, they tax 19.6% at a normal rate - the fifth highest in Europe - and 5.5% at a reduced rate.

Here’s Europe’s VAT ranking:

1. Sweden, Hungary and Denmark at 25%
2. Poland and Finland at 22%
3. Ireland and Belgium at 21%
4. Slovenia, Italy and Austria at 20%
5. France at 19.6%

And who would resist, everything is impeccable and inviting to encourage higher consumption, thus bloating the VAT fund. Tourism alone gets a good share of tax collection! I haven’t even talked about cigarettes…

The second biggest source is – hold your breath – tax on revenue (18%)! Surprised? Nope, not really. Now, take a plunge on these numbers and feel the weight of each percentage.

less than 4,334€ = 0%
4,335€ - 8,524€ = 6.83%
8,525€ - 15,004€ = 19.14%
15,005€ - 24,294€ = 28.26%
24,295€ - 39,529€ = 37.38%
39,530€ - 48,747€ = 42.62%
more than 48 747€ = 48.09%

No effect? Then try this: tax calculator

Now, here’s the lighter side, you get 20€ incentive if you declare it by internet, and what more is that, you get a longer deadline. I guess younger generations will opt for this solution, but not the older ones. They would rather do it the traditional way rather than ‘publish’ their bank account numbers on the net (even if the site promises security!)

Nouveauté? Audiovisual Tax will be equally declared on this formulaire. Yes, they pay to have a glimpse of what is happening in France and around the world. But hey, I’m wondering how much percentage of the population really pays this tax. Hehe, there’s no way out now, you French magouilleurs!

Another nouveauté? The fiscal rights for those who are bonded by PACS (or legal partners) are now aligned as to married couples (before, we had to wait 3 long years before we could have a common tax declaration (we are on our 2nd year)– that is to prevent fake marriages). Yehey! That would mean one year tax savings!

Most of the French population will surely disagree with me, but in all honesty, I'm generally satisfied with what the government does with my money. I'm worry-free! I don't have to worry if I get sick, if I get laid off, if I give birth, if I retire, not even for my future children's education and health. Pourvu que ça dure! (Let's hope it lasts!). These frenchies just don't realize the luck that they have. As Maxime Le Forestier wanted to convey in one of his songs:

Est-ce que les gens naissent égaux en droits

A l'endroit où ils naissent

Que les gens naissent pareils ou pas

On choisit pas ses parents, on choisit pas sa famille
On choisit pas non plus les trottoirs de Manille
De Paris ou d'Alger pour apprendre à marcher
Etre né quelque part Etre né quelque part
Pour celui qui est né, c'est toujours un hasard

Are people born with equal rights
where they are born?
Are they born similar or not?

We don't choose our parents or our family.
We don't choose either the pavements of Manila,
Paris or Algeria to learn how to walk.
To be born somewhere. To be born somewhere.
For those who are born, it is always a fate/chance.


Maan said...

Great blogsite! I accidentally stumbled upon this while surfing blog sites.

Paris is a favorite city so I was so glad I found this plus the links which I have not yet reviewed :)


Analyse said...

hey there maan, welcome po. just visited your site, active life you got there, be back for sure.

Anonymous said...

i agree with you 100%!! If one experienced paying taxes in the Phils. this country is really heaven. Lagi ko yang sinasabi sa asawa ko at sa aking mga byenan. Mapalad sila at isa sa world leader ang kanilang bayan!


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Analyse said...

joan, exactement! at least here, even if you pay higher taxes, you could SEE and FEEL your taxes work for you, unlike sa pinas, where a considerable amount goes directly sa bulsa ng kung sino sino.

frenchguy's family slowly realizes that now, but there are a lot 'round here who never stops complaining...isipin mo na lang kung kasing laki ng tuition fee (in proportion to the purchasing power) sa pinas ang tuition fee dito and they have to pay for it, mabibingi na siguro ako sa kanila hehe.

sachiko said...

Blogger's comment page takes forever to load these days!

My! What a detailed post! Are you an auditor or something?hehe..

We paid a lot of taxes here,too.That's why,we will never get rich,no matter how we work.

Pssst..I was sad to know that Bok's on a hiatus now..I always liked her post and her visits.. I will miss her. :)

sachiko said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Analyse said...

hey sachiko, nice to see you around..

hehe, the government distributes a one-page agenda of their budget vs forecasted expenses here, that's why. so the people should know..

hey, curious tuloy ako, does my blog looks like a technical report?

yeah, sad to know that news too (esp there's not much french-pinay in the blogging community), but i salute her for that decision..shhh, i visit her site whenever i can, you will never know, another blog entry might pop up ;)