Hi, has anyone else been forced to pay their tax d'habitation by direct debit against their wishes and consent ?Philip
No but my OH has suddenly been charged the tax on a derelict house she owns after never having to pay it before. She tried emailing the tax office to find out why but they appear to embrace the French tradition of ignoring emails.
If the house is uninhabitable then she needs to get the Mairie to certify that it is and hey presto no more tax
It's been the law since last year - no choice, has to be paid online now or you get fined. (Probably you really do, I saw a letter they sent last year to someone who paid by cheque and it was quite clear.)
It's up to the fisc and the French govt what payment methods they accept, your wishes or consent don't really come into it, unfortunately.
What if you've been refused a bank account ( been overdrawn 3 times etc) ? I recently visited my tressor to try and get 'my space' unfrozen so I could continue to pay online, whilst there there were french folk paying their tax foncier and habitation over the counter !
You've lost me now Philip because I don't understand your sentence about visiting your tresor to get your space unfrozen. Why would the tresor ( do you mean the tax office? ) have frozen your online tax account? But, even if you can't log in to your tax account, there is still a facility for paying online using the avis number (assuming you get a paper bill).
If a person doesn't have a bank account right now because you've been declared interdit bancaire, I suppose they can't pay online unless you they can get a friend to make the payment for them. But for anyone in that position there is a procedure they can go through to open a restricted bank account so nobody should be in the situation of not having a bank account for very long.
France's changeover to require payment of property taxes etc by electronic means is an issue that has been discussed at length in the Senat, eg here
and the official position is quite clear I think. It's the law and people are expected to comply. You can only pay over the counter or by cheque if your bill is under 300€. You say other people were paying over the counter, were you close enough to see and hear how much their bills were? Many people's taxe d'hab bills are less than €300 this year with the new exemptions for taxpayers.
The long and short of it is that as you will see if you read the link, tax offices have been told to enforce the law and push their customers into signing up for electronic payment.. By" forcing you to do so against your will and consent" your tax office or trésor has actually saved you from being fined. Would you have preferred to be fined?
Hi, the 'my space' facility on the tressor public website which I have been paying my taxes from the UK through my french bank account was frozen citing security reasons, to reopen it I needed to visit my tressor public with two items of positive identity, this I did. The agent in the tressor was well into the process of reopening 'my space' when a pop up came on her screen . I couldn't read what it said but she informed me that she couldn't re-open the facility as I will be paying by direct debit from now on, that was the first I heard of it ! I haven't received a tax d'habitation bill this year, the first time in 22 years, but reading my bank statement which has just arrived I can see they have taken the money, I have not filled in any bank mandate allowing this. Having flown out to France specifically to provide positive identity during the covid fiasco I was a bit peeved to find it was a bit of a ruse ! I sat in the waiting room of the tressor to take stock where a french lady who had heard my conversation told me to pay by cheque over the counter as thats what she does, I waited in turn and tried to pay over the counter but was refused. Paying by direct debit is no great hardship , im just not used to money being taken out of my account without any paperwork being done, a bit of a shock really !
OK that makes sense. When you say the trésor website I am guessing you mean what most people call the impots website since that is where you manage all your taxes from, AFAIK the trésor public doesn't have a website of its own. I have never heard of the impots blocking a customer account and I don't see what the fact that you will be paying by DD by now on, has to do with you accessing your account. They need to sort it out for you so you that can access it in the future (I take it y.ou don't pay income tax in France?).
If you don't want to pay by DD there is an option on the impots website where anyone can pay a bill by virement without logging in, but you do need the reference number on the bill so that option is no use if you haven't received a bill.
Not sure how they could have taken the money without you giving them your bank details and approving it. There is no actual paperwork involved these days, you just tick a box online and that seems to be sufficient. You used to have to print off a mandate and send it to your bank but you don't do that any more. Did you check that it really was them took the money from your account? If there has been a security issue with your account you want to be sure it hasn't been hacked and the hacker got your bank details and is helping themself.
I guess a lot of French people are not fully up to date with the rules about paying electronically, it is a relatively new thing.
Thank you for advice.