16 August 2009

Full summer in the Tarn et Garonne. Temperature: 37 degrees and rising. Pool: like chicken soup. Tourists everywhere: mainly Brits and Dutch. You can tell the Dutch: taller, thinner versions of the Brits, but they don't spend any money, they arrive in caravans, and even though they're entering the land of le bien manger, they bring their drink and sandwiches with them.
For those who are gite owners, there's the usual confusion over taxes. French bureaucracy rules O.K. 2 main types of tax: auto-entrepreneur and the micro system. Difference? Under the former, you have to pay mandatory 'social charges' (as do all French employees; it's like English N.I.) based on turnover, while for the latter tax is paid on profit after expenses. Apparently the crucial difference is if you are providing extra services (!), then it's deemed a business and you pay 21.3% social charges rate.
As someone who never understood tax laws even in the UK, don't ask me. Why do the authorities have to make things so difficult? Well, I'll tell you. It's the same on the roads. They love to instal as few kph road signs as possible, for long, long stretches of road, so that strangers never know the max speed limit. Then, as with the 'deliberate' tax obfuscation - someone in authority can enjoy schadenfreude and bonus points at catching as many 'criminals' as possible.Oh no, I fear the job's worth song 's here yet again:
Job's worth, job's worth
It's more than my job's worth
I don't care, rain or snow,
whatever you want, the answer's no
I can keep you waiting for ever in the queue
And if you don't like it, you know what you can do....

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