Sunday, December 17, 2017

It’s started, or rather I have finally…

The writing of the annual family letter, the reception and sending of Holiday Greetings, Christmas Cards or whatever else anyone may chose to label them!

I missed last year entirely thanks to a bad bout of flu in between Christmas and the New Year that lasted well into 2017 so this year am making a serious attempt – note that word “attempt” to at least send those who have already sent me greetings, mine in return.

It was writing the first three that had me reflecting upon how good my life is, how wide my horizons and the depth of my friendships.

The first one was in French, the second in English, but when I wrote the third in German I had to realize that perhaps this order wasn’t random and that I was blessed. May you all feel the same.

Monday, December 4, 2017

I love the tax office!

Now that isn’t a sentence one hears often and this statement does need some qualification.
I should rather have said I love the Geneva tax office.

I have not needed to go down to the Hôtel des Finances often, but when I have I have
Always come away thinking only the very best of the people who work there, their competencies and the speed with which my problems are solved – and not once has it not been in my favor either!

Why though they call it a “financial hotel” I haven’t had a clue – no one ever stays, nor would one want to as the booths tend to be rather monastic, gray and blue grey, lots of rather styrofoam-looking ceilings and probably linoleum from at least 50 years ago so not make for attractive lodgings.

However, this is more than made up for in the smiles and helpfulness of those found behind the counters.

I needed to sort out my younger son’s 2017 tax declaration as when he officially left Switzerland the department of the population had transmitted that fact to the taxation office and they had sent a formula to be filled in that even I had a question on every other line.

In the end it turns out that one can be officially gone from Switzerland but still liable for taxes until such a point as one has a foreign employer and fixed foreign address (that was one of the problems – no fixed foreign address as he is coach surfing, Airbnb…ing and the like). They “divorced” the information from the population control from their system, took back all the forms and the tax declaration and will send them to him as normal in January.

This was very good news indeed making things much simpler all the way around, so after perhaps all of 15 minutes spent there I walked out with a spring in my step and love in my heart for the Geneva Tax Office.  Too bad that I don’t have the same warm fuzzy feelings for the IRS!

Items taken to the tax office - the envelope was full and returned empty!