Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Man Giveth and the Tax Man Taketh Away

Yesterday when I got home from work I checked my mailbox as I normally do. Because I love getting mail I was excited to see several letters waiting for me in my mailbox. One piece of mail that caught my eye was wrapped in a blue plastic wrapping with the emblem of the Republic Francaise in the upper left hand corner. Curisous as to its contents I quickly ripped open the packaging en route to the elevator. After a quick scan I realized that what I was holding my hands was in fact nothing at all to be excited about.

What I held in my possession was my avis d'impot sur les revenues or more simply put my tax bill. Now, while I understand the importance of paying taxes and I'm more than willing to pay my fair share of them in order to reap the social benefits, when it comes down to it I'm less than thrilled to have to write a four figure check made out to Sarkozy (I jest the check was actually made out to the treasurer or something).

Since the day I started working I knew that this day would eventually come because unlike in the US no income taxes are withheld from my monthly check. Because of this, each month I would studiously put aside a portion of my paycheck into a separate account to cover this expense. However, as the balance in that account increased I became quite attached to it and the idea of such an untimely parting seems cruel and harsh. You see I just replaced my stolen iPhone with the updated 3GS, my summer holiday to Greece is rapidly approaching and a trip back to New York is in the works to celebrate my cousin's wedding. So while I generally love France and put up with their way of doing things, in this case I would much prefer to deal with my taxes the way I have in the US which is by getting a nice tax refund check several weeks after filing my tax returns.


rhonalala said...

Sounds crappy but like you said, it is part and parcel of living with the French.
Greece! Sounds great. I hope you post about this adventure. I love Europe. So many holiday days and so lots of travel options to choose from. Enjoy.

Isabelle said...

You should subscribe to the monthly payment of your taxes, this way, no big check to write once a year!!

jonnifer said...

I'm with you: I'm all for paying my taxes but it's still sad to say goodbye to such a big chunk of money all at once. I must say though, I much prefer the method of filing your taxes in France. We filled out one simple form and the govt calculated our taxes for us. This year for the US and New York I had to fill out five separate forms. Luckily you get an automatic 2-month extension if you live abroad - I needed it!

Adam said...

The monthly option is the way to go. The French would like to switch to a Pay As You Earn system, but to do so they would basically have to give everybody a one year tax holiday!

FB @ said...

I'd be CRUSHED with that system!

I hate not paying my taxes immediately.. but at least you get the money to play with and earn interest with for a year before they take it away :P