Frenchwoman pays taxes with 30 kilos of small change

Last Updated 17 September 2014, 15:28 IST

A disgruntled taxpayer in southern France paid her annual bill using 30 kilogrammes of small change in protest at the way taxes are collected.

The unemployed 28-year-old woman, who gave her name only as Audrey D., had to pay USD 1,435 in tax on her 2013 salary, which was on average 1,400 euros.
"To pay the taxes on time, I had to sell my car," she told AFP.

Income tax in France is levied once a year in September on the salary earned the previous year.

Initially, she went to the tax office to pay in a single cash lump sum. "It hurts less that way," she said.

However, officials told her she could only pay 300 euros at a time. She paid the first three tranches and then decided to make a statement with the remaining 207 euros.
She marched into the tax office with a pink piggy bank and rolls of tiny one, two and five centimes coins.

"I've got a good friend in a bank who helped me," she explained.

She smashed the piggy bank on the counter and handed over the small change.
At first, she received short shrift, but the ice was gradually broken and the tax officials lightened up as they counted out the payment.

"I've nothing against paying taxes. But what I don't like is paying so much. We're not cash cows," she complained.

Warming to her theme, she sent an open letter to President Francois Hollande and Finance Minister Michel Sapin to "protest against the rises in taxes, against this government that takes us for idiots but basically because I'm French and I love to whinge."

(Published 17 September 2014, 15:28 IST)

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