Sunday, May 29, 2011

French income tax return

I'm not the one dealing with income tax return so whenever I receive something about taxes, I just hand it to hubby.

This year, I had a glance and something just caught my attention:
My taxable income is higher than my gross income.

As far as I know:
Taxable income = Gross income - social contributions

So what went wrong? The more we investigate the more headache we have, there are FIVE different amounts we were given to declare ONE source of income.

The tax form (Déclaration préremplie revenue 2010) indicated two sources of income: one from my employer and one from CPAM. CPAM is a government agency who handles expenses on health-care, it was the one paying my maternity leaves in 2009 - 2010. It makes sense that I got income from it but not as much as it declared (they should have sent us a statement that they declared that amount to the tax office but we never received it). Let's call this amount A.

Confused, I checked the CPAM website and looked at my account, which lists all the reimbursements paid to me (In France we pay the doctor first then get reimbursed later). It is a very well done tool and I managed to find that maternity leaves statement which is meant for income tax purpose. From the website, I requested payment details for my 4 months maternity leaves. 2 days later I received a statement with amount B, which is around 6k less than amount A!.

I still couldn't figure out how they came out with the number so I sent another email to CPAM, asking them to explain why my taxable income is higher than my gross income. Two days later I got a mail, saying that they have forwarded my request to the department in charge, apparently this time my case was too complicated for them to reply within two days. A week later, without any notice, I received a letter from CPAM, with a corrective tax statement giving me another amount, which is around 500 less than amount B. Let's call it amount C.

This is not the end of the story. 2 days later I received an email reply from CPAM telling me that they made a mistake on my tax statement, the correct amount should be D, around 200€ more than amount C. They sent me later a tax statement in mail.

Now, I have amount A, B, C, D to choose from to file for my income tax. The problem, all these amounts do not match what was stated in my payslips during the months I was on maternity leaves. A payslip expert explained to hubby which line in the payslips I should sum up and we ended up with amount E. The expert explained it is not unusual for CPAM to mess up when the maternity leaves touch two income tax years.

I think the best solution is to go in person to the nearby CPAM office. I'm not keen on doing this and I'm afraid they are going to give me another amount. The case is closed for me and I'm happily passing the whole mess to my belove hubby. :-)

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