Thursday, May 20, 2021

The End of My Rope

 This is the closest I've come to throwing in the towel and leaving France behind. 

Everyone is healthy. No crises. It's my own personal Achilles heel that drives me to the edge, tempting me to put it all behind me and return to the States. 

Taxes. French taxes are  currently the bane of my existence, but only for about 12 more hours because they are due today. 

These horses aren't bothered by taxes. 

I realize I'm being unreasonable. I put off doing US taxes, but I got them done while we were visiting friends and family during our five week trip. And on Monday, May 17, the official tax day in the U.S. this year because of COVID, the government promptly removed the $5,400 we still owed in taxes. 

I didn't worry about French taxes, which I thought were due in June. Then I saw that they are actually due on May 26th. I'd better get moving. But since we don't have a tax number, we have to file a paper copy. The paper copy is due on May 20th. That's today!

I joined a Facebook group that helps English speakers figure out taxes, but truthfully, they could be speaking French or Bulgarian. The helpful files are called things like F2041E or IMPOTS deduction for pensions alimentaires. 

Earl and I jumped in our car and went to the tax office half an hour away. We were outside a few minutes later slightly stunned. The man was the most helpful federal worker I've ever run into in France or the US. He gave me two forms and a phone appointment, saying his colleague will call me Thursday at 3:30. 

My hopeful feelings died bit by bit as I struggled to understand where to put the numbers in the two forms I'm working on. I just get so agitated, either because it's about taxes, or money or budgeting, or my own inadequacies. Whatever it is -- I hate it. 

I went for a run this morning, hoping I'll be able to calm the beast within. Derrick is coming over to look at it with me, but really just to offer moral support. 

Whatever happens, I'll have a chance to ask a few questions this afternoon when the tax worker calls -- preparing for a telephone conversation in French, another stressor. 

I'll turn it in and see what the French government thinks. Then I'll start preparing for next year. Maybe we'll pay someone to do our taxes in France. 


Kiwi said...

Completely understand your frustrations with having to file tax returns in both countries.
The AARO organization may be helpful, or at least be able to point you to an accountant. You probably know they are among several organizations trying to get the U.S. to stop taxing Americans who live full-time overseas. Can get very complicated, even with the tax treaty, especially if you are self-employed.
Even though it is costly (about 600 euros each year), we pay a French accountant to do our French tax statement because then everything is in order, and she also went to bat for us when the French tax authorities made a mistake one year and wanted to take 2100 euros out of our bank account! We look at it sort of like buying insurance - it's really for peace of mind.
This is their website, if you want to consider asking for a free consultation, maybe before next year:

Mary said...

If it's any consolation, our taxes here in the US and Arizona were a nightmare this year. First, they said we had to pay tax on any unemployment received because of the pandemic. Then, only pay on the part that came from the state, until finally, oh wait,don't pay on any of it. Doesn't sound like a problem, unless you filed early, or in the middle, or even in early April! After realizing they were still changing the rules, we waited to file until just before the May 17 deadline. Unfortunately, my daughter filed hers in February and is still fighting over $2100 she paid that should be returned! Taxes are a pain everywhere, but at least ours is in English, even if one can't understand exactly what they want. Hope yours goes smoothly from here on out. I would still move to France if given the option!

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