Friday, December 25, 2009

The Concerns of the Blog

The Four Concerns of this blog are
Click on each title to reveal further links!
(1) Freedom of Movement.

Including Health Matters 
Here is any topic that affects our movement between the UK and the Continent. Removal of financial constraints on pensioners, removal of illegal constraints on travel, payments of benefits, Winter Fuel Payment, passport payments etc.

(2) Political Representation .
So that someone in Parliament truly has our welfare as his/her major concern.

(3) The Double Taxation Convention.
To sort out the tax mess which currently exists.

One needs to know where one is with one's money. Updated with a comment on the £ v. Euro October 13th

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Latest letter of December 2nd 2009 to HMRC LONDON

This is a slightly abridged version of the original - informants and copies not disclosed. (n.b. - when first published here, this item carried, by accident, an inappropriate date of 2012 - our apologies!)

Mr. Richard Thomas,
Tax Treaty Team, 100, Parliament Street, London, SW1A 2BQ
December 2nd 2009

Dear Mr. Thomas,
I wrote to you on July 20th a detailed letter and you courteously acknowledged that letter on the 4th August, saying that I would receive a fuller reply in due course. I still await that reply.
The letter of July 20th has a background essentially of the old Convention (DTC) (UK/France) then and now in part at least, still in force. It also refers to the new DTC of 2008.
Nothing materially has changed but I have been pursuing the case.
You must be aware that I have presented a Petition before the EU Committee on Petitions, who have acknowledged my petition and I await further news in that regard. The details of that petition can be read on my blogsite. I pray that when you do so, you take cognisance of the situation, mentioned in the petition, where if all income were taxed in France I could derive benefits from the tax rebates on employment of a home help and contributions to a French Charity to support the education of a boy in Cambodia. Because of the interpretation of the DTC these rebates are denied to me, since the income tax is paid to the UK!.
For all these reasons my total tax bill is somewhere about 1,000 euros higher than it would be for a Frenchman in the same circumstances.
In the meanwhile....
I have been in correspondence with an international tax specialist with regard to the French interpretation of the taxation procedures in the proposed 2008 Convention.
The Articles of the New Double Taxation Convention mentioned above are in spirit identical to the same Articles of the previous Convention (1968 No. 1869) The outcome is little different from that which I have previously stated. Nevertheless I am informed that the French are likely under DTC 2008 to calculate the tax due in a slightly different manner. I suspect that the situation thereby actually worsens for the British Government Pensioner.
[Calculation on income which includes UK Government Pensions].
Gov pensions = A, UK Tax = B
Any French income (or other foreign source income which is taxable in France) = C
French tax is calculated on A+C = D
French tax attributable to A = (A / (A+C)) x D = E
French tax payable is D minus E. [note that it is the attributable tax which is deducted in the calculation, not the actual tax paid! ]

Clearly and it is irrefutable logic - if B minus E is greater than zero ( UK tax less the French attributable tax) then the British National tax payer pays more tax overall than if he was a French National.
Further and again the logic is irrefutable; if a French National had EXACTLY the same career history as myself and therefore the same income and sources of income - then he would pay less tax than myself.
This situation infringes ARTICLE 25 (paragraph 1) on non-discrimination which I repeat here:
Individuals who are nationals of a Contracting State shall not be subjected to any taxation or any requirement connected therewith, which is other or more burdensome than the taxation and connected requirements to which nationals of that other State in the same circumstances, in particular with regard to residence, are or may be subjected.
The case is absolutely clear.
Now again I repeat to you Article 26. 1.
Where a resident of a Contracting State considers that the actions of one or both of the Contracting States result or will result for him in taxation not in accordance with the provisions of this convention, he may, irrespective of the remedies provided by the domestic law of those States, present his case to the competent authority of the State of which he is resident, OR IF HIS CASE COMES UNDER PARAGRAPH 1 OF ARTICLE 25, TO THAT OF THE CONTRACTING STATE OF WHICH HE IS A NATIONAL.

I have written three times (third time by recorded delivery) to M. Comolet-Tirman [your counterpart] in Paris and have had no reply to any of them. This is also mentioned in my petition to the EU as is my correspondence to yourself.
You are the competent authority of which I am a national.
I have in my EU petition proposed two alternative solutions.
1. To remove in France all calculation relating to the British Government pensions taxable in the UK under OECD recommendations in the French tax calculations - as is the case in Spain and probably other EU countries.
2. To remove all necessity to tax the Government pensions of British residents in France in the UK, thus causing them to be taxable in France.

I repeat to you, Mr. Thomas, that it is the bounden responsibility under International Law for the British Government to uphold the interests of me, a British Citizen, and to intervene with France to correct this unfairness and irregularity. I demand, with the right of a British Citizen, that action is taken.

I give you official notice in this mail of my contention as required under Article 26.1 of the convention.
Copies of this mail to;- not disclosed here
Brian Cave

Circulated Message from Roger Gale M.P. on DLA payments

This message from Roger Gale MP has been sent to all MPs with constituents concerned about the non payment of Disability Living Allowance.

Exportable Benefits - update
As a colleague with a constituent interest in the issue of exportable benefits I felt that I should circulate the present position.

Infringement proceedings against the UK Government for breach of the ECJ ruling were issued at the beginning of October.

The Commission does not accept the "26/52" ruling in relation to qualification.

I still await the Prime Minister’s promised written answer to my oral PQ and subsequent letter.

The government has declined, on grounds of confidentiality, to publish its response to the EU.

Some 2000 (we believe) former elderly and disabled former UK residents and taxpayers are awaiting payment of the benefits due to them.

It would appear that appeal hearings, long-delayed, have now been put on hold pending (1) a resolution of the infringement proceedings and (2) the subsequent hearing of a basket of test cases.

All of which is not very satisfactory!

Yours ever

Roger Gale, MP
North Thanet