Breaking the law

//Breaking the law

Breaking the law

My dealings with my pension agent CIPAV can only be described as “disastrous”.  The bastards who run this little outfit, intended to help freelancers plan for their retirement, seem to find it amusing to ignore all communication from their desperate members (i.e. me) who say they are unable to pay due to CIPAV’s estimated earnings being way beyond the reality.

In 2006 I stupidly ticked the box for ‘complementary cover’ in my retirement plan.  Meaning I agreed to pay extra if I earned above a certain threshold.  Last year I came in way below this threshold – and so filled out the requisite form asking for exemption.

No reply.  So I was a bit miffed when I was asked for the same amount again a few months later. So I followed advice and wrote a cheque for what should have been the legitimate amount.

Today I received a bill, that not only ignored my complementary exemption, but also ignored the fact that I had already paid up 50% of what they had asked for. Additionally they see fit to charge me a bit extra for my earnings in 2007 plus three late payment penalties into the bargain, resulting in a bill for around 33% of my gross profit for 2009.

I am now seeking advice from my accountants, but it looks as though the bailiffs will be called if I don’t go and find a loan to pay off these clueless fonctionnaires.  This is the irony of being self-employed in France – you are required more often than not to borrow money to pay the state in advance of earning a single penny, and then when you do earn some money – they seem to think that it’s OK to ask for most of it after the fact.

It is for this reason I am considering a portage scheme … one whereby you get treated a bit more fairly … allegedly.

By |2010-09-13T13:42:21+00:00September 13th, 2010|Uncategorized|3 Comments

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  1. Englishman September 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    I have since learned that the reason for this cock-up is partly, if not mostly, because my accountant told CIPAV to deduct my last payment (the 50%) from my 2010 contributions. So there was a big fat zero against 2009 for my account. Thanks to this admin oversight I’m going to have to pay some 2000 € more than I originally envisaged. Time to find a new accountant – recommendations gratefully received!

  2. Matt September 14, 2010 at 9:09 am - Reply

    This is why small businesses simply fail on France. I tried it, and gave up after 3 years of fighting to try to make enough money to live. It is no wonder that so much “under the table” dealing still goes on. France needs to remove the bureaucracy and bullshit to allow the entrepreneurs that currently leave to make successes of themselves abroad, to succeed here. apparently there are 300,000 French in London, where they can succeed. Added to this, the French people need to realise that working until 58 is no longer an option, stop striking at every opportunity, and start looking to the future without rose tinted spectacles.

  3. Englishman September 14, 2010 at 9:29 am - Reply

    I have since looked into two portage schemes, and it seems that while offering you a stress-free existence they require you to part with approximately 50% of your earnings. This seems a little harsh in my view – but I can’t say I’m parting with a lot less right now anyway.
    The main advantages of portage are though – that you get ‘paid holiday’ and full healthcare cover in Alsace. They also do the billing and payment chasing for you. Whether you’ll have enough to live on though is questionable.

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