Daily Archives: May 30, 2011

A Moment of Silence

I have a certain fascination with monuments and tombstones. I came across this one, in the front garden of a small church. She was calming to the spirit and was captured in a moment of silence, forever.


France’s Last Name Is Tax

Last Friday I went to the local Tresor Public. I was told by my company’s accountants that I need to go there to pick up a Declaration de Revenues (in other words, I have to pay more taxes).

The whole thing started with my French language teacher. For some reason we got on the subject of taxes and how it works in France verses the USA. She asked me if I had received my form in the mail. “What form”, I asked. “La Declaration de Revenues”, she said.  I told her that I had not received it. Her reply was, “Go now and get it. The completed form is due on Tuesday!” Oh crap! Today is Thursday and I have no idea how to even fill it out or where to get it.

So I contacted my company’s accountant right after my lesson. The nice guy who always helps me out said to go to the Tresor Public to get the form. He said that once I have it, I would need to go to his office and he would help me fill it out all nice and tidy since it was my first time. 🙂 Love him!

Friday morning I headed off to the Tresor. Luckily, it is really close to where I live. While there, I tried to kill two birds with one stone (I needed to get some more of those crazy tax stamps for my daughter’s resident card).  I went and stood in line for my dumb stamps and as I was waiting, I noticed that the other line I needed to be in was getting really long. Great, I was gonna be there til next pay check.

Finally, I made it to the nice man who gave me the stamps last time. I handed him my official paper that said I needed more stamps and he said, “Thank you, Ashley”. I could not believe that he remembered me from the last time (but then again, we did chat it up about me being from the USA and loving France and all, so why shouldn’t he remember me?) I looked at him all proud with that ‘thank you for remembering me’ puppy dog look and said, “Wow, you remembered me from last time!” Then to go and burst my bubble, he said “No, your name is on the paper you just gave me”.

Duh, Ashley dumb whit!!

Now I not only felt really stupid, but I my ego was completely deflated. Especially because I think I am kind of a memorable person. Dude just gave me that “you are such a blond” look (even though I am not!).  Then the guy behind the counter just smiled at me.  He said he should have just said “Yes, I do”, and it would have boosted his ego, too. We just smiled at each other and then he chuckled to himself and shook his head.

After buying my tax stamps (which by the way are nice and blue and have a great picture of Marion on them-story for another time), I headed off to the dreaded tax line. Surprisingly the line moved really quickly until I got up to the front. Then it came to a screeching halt. Of course, it would happen to me. You see, there were only two windows opened (naturally) and the two ladies already occupying those windows happened to be the two people in the whole, wide, world of France that had to have help with every dang question! Oh, come on people! I stood there waiting FOREVER.

Finally it was my turn to step up. I told the lady behind the counter that I needed to get a Declaration de Revenues for 2010. Instead of just handing me the paper and letting me get my happy little self outta there, I got interrogated.  (sigh)

Experience will now be recounted for those of you who weren’t there.

Lady: “Didn’t you receive it in the mail?”

Me: Yes, but I came in any way just to bug you and waste my time asking for an extra copy! I didn’t say that, but wanted to. Instead I said, “No, I did not”. Very nicely, I might add.

Lady: “Did you pay taxes last year?”

Me: “No, I did not live in France in 2009 in order to pay taxes last year.”

Lady: “I need to see your identification.”

This is when I got to pull out my resident card and say “Check It!” And that is exactly what I did. So proud of it, I am!

Lady: “When did you first enter France?”

Me: “In October.”  Apparently you are not looking at my resident card. It has the date on it. Look at it, dog gone it! I am really happy about having it so humor me.

Lady: “Did you work last year?”

Me: No, I just decided that I wanted to come here and be interrogated by you and I really, really, REALLY want to pay taxes, even if I didn’t work. Okay, I didn’t say that, but again, I so wanted to. Instead I said, “Yes, I worked last year.” Again, very nicely.

Then she handed back my prized resident card and a little form that I needed to fill out for annual taxes.

Geeez! Why the hassle?? How come I couldn’t just ask for the form and she gives it to me?? What does she care if I want to pay taxes or not??

Next time, Tresor Pubic, just leave a stack of the forms on a desk or something. Then I can go up, grab one, and walk away without getting the 3rd degree.

What’s that? Did you say, “No can do?” That’s what I though. Cuz that would be too easy, huh?

Merci pour rien!

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