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Be aware of the '500,000' mistaken French tax declarations

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Be aware of the '500,000' mistaken French tax declarations
Photo: AFP
14:26 CEST+02:00
Around 500,000 pre-filled out income tax declarations sent out to taxpayers in France contain an error, it has been announced. And it's up to the taxpayers to fix them.
Hundreds of thousands of pre-filled out income tax declaration forms have been under calculated as a result of a computer bug which hit the software used to produce them in March.
 
As a result of the computer bug some boxes on the forms have been left empty, according to Le Canard Enchaine newspaper. 
 
That means that those who use the paper tax forms, which accounts for around 50 percent of taxpayers, could be set for even more of a headache during French tax season this year as they will be responsible for correcting any errors on the forms themselves. 
 
Unsurprisingly the announcement has prompted outrage.
 
"They can't be serious!" Olivier Vadebout from the public finances division of the hard left CGT union told Le Parisien. 
 
"The taxpayers who return the paper version, signing it without really looking, may be punished. And some may not notice the letter of correction from the tax authorities," he said.
 
But what exactly happened?
 
The computer bug which caused the mishap hit the software responsible for sorting the data of the national insurance fund for the elderly (CNAV). 
 
But it won't only be retirees who are affected. 
 
It turns out that the same software also collects all of the information on taxpayers including wages and social security contributions.
 
Until now, companies sent an annual statement regarding the contribution of their employees but this now happens on a monthly basis and it's this switch which is to blame for the bug.
 
On a positive note for taxpayers, however, these teething problems will hopefully all be for a good cause.
 
The reason for the change in the system, according to some sources, is the government's plan to finally deduct taxes at source from January 1st 2019.
 
But when your tax declaration arrives this year, be sure to read through it with an eagle eye. 
 
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