Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Please declare your zero income!

If not bcos of this incident I wouldn't have known that as a foreign student I'm obligated to fill the income tax despite the fact that I was not allowed to work so had zero income . Gosh! Why the school have never even thought of telling us and now this is giving me a bit mess.

I almost/could've/might be screwed up the whole mortgage application just bcos I didn't fill the 2005 income tax. The mortgage loan is even signed, but the banker "threaten" to cancel the whole thing if I can't provide him the avis d'impôt 2005. He could have told us 2 months ago that he will need this and it's mandatory. Now the contact is signed and he realised he has committed a professional mistake, he got scared and want to screw us up. I'm not sure if it's even legal that he can cancel a signed contract just like that, as in the contract he's supposed to have satisfied with all the documents provided.

So, I went to the tax office and was told that they can't handle my case bcos I was a foreign student in 2005 thus I'm not fiscally recognised by them. I sent an email to the tax office hoping someone else will give me different response but I got the same reply. Here was what I got:

En réponse à votre question, je vous confirme qu'étant étudiante étrangèreet n'ayant pas de revenus vous n'avez pas à souscrire de déclaration. Le service ne la prendrai d'ailleurs pas en compte. Je suis désolée mais dans votre situation, je ne peux accéder à votre demande. Vous n'êtes pas fiscalement reconnue et je ne suis pas habilitée à vous délivrer une attestation.

I gave up but my hubby continued his battle and he successfully got someone agreed to let me declare my zero income. I went to the place this morning to realise that the office was meant for "courses" and the yellow page has mistakenlly included a "tax services" to this address. This guy was very nice and after hearing my situation, he said that foreign students DO HAVE to declare their ZERO income and it will all be handle in Paris. He then sent me to another office for a more accurate advises.

I have finally arrived in the right office, and the receptionist said that I can fill the income tax but I will only get it in 3 months.

Lessons: Declare all your incomes eventhough it's zero, who knows in ten years you will still need to provide it to someone else. When you get a "no" from a French administrative, try another office and never give up until you get a "yes".


  1. I had the same thing happen to me last year when I was applying for "une bourse". The application said that you had to give your two previous tax returns, ie. 2004 and 2005, so I did. But the woman who processed my "dossier" didn't want to give me the scholarship because I was a foreigner, so she kept asking for all kinds of extra paperwork, including a tax return from 2003.

    I didn't work in 2003 (like you, I was a student), so I didn't have one, but she kept insisting that my file was on hold until she got it. I finally went to the hôtel des impôts, and after a lot of explaining (because really, why, in 2006, would I want to file a tax return for 2003 for 0€?), they finally gave me "une attestation" saying that I didn't earn anything that year and a few weeks later I got the actual tax return. But they didn't say anything to me about not being able to do it because I was a student then.

  2. What a complete nightmare! I hate how with French administration, every office can give you a different story!

  3. hello there... well, tax is something you dont really wanna mess with. it can be realy ugly. never thought french taxation system can be so rigid as well, i thought it would have been a developed regime.

    hey, thanks for dropping by. how did you find me? i guess this is your 'english' blog eh?

    will i be right to say you married a french and you no longer need to face the boleh-ness in this country anymore...?

  4. Samantha,

    We were asking the attestation paper as well but the woman just refused to do it bcos I'm not fiscally recognised. I don't know why in the other tax office they agree to it. Did you fill in the tax return 2003 to get it or they just gave it to you?


    Yes why we always get different answers from different people, sound the same like in Malaysia.

    You will be amazed that most of the civil servants in the world have the same working attitude and bureaucracy. But at least in France they didn't scold me like those in Malaysia. I discovered your blog through Jamy, my close internet friend in her seaykopitim blog. A lot of Malaysians living abroad miss Malaysia, it's not so bad afterall hehe.

  5. well... i may join the gang quite soon :)

    well, i know i will definitely miss malaysia as the saying goes... you can take a malaysian out of malaysia but u can never take malaysia out of a malaysian...