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Bonjour

 

So the Limoux Carnaval has been on for weeks and will continue for many more, if you are thinking of going but are never quite sure when it is, have a look at this website it may help.  It has been put together by a band? Or is it the band that does the whole carnaval?  Well whichever, it is worth a look and with a translator it may give you a bit more background on the event.

http://www.lascoudenos.fr/index.php/calendrier-2014

 

 

So have you come out the other side of your TV crisis, did it require a larger dish? Let me know where and what size did it take?

 

I saw the other day that Nelson Mandela’s will was being sorted out and in the article I read it referred to him leaving approximately £2.5m.  At the time I thought no more about and then it popped back into my head and I wondered how he had earned money.  I had a look around the interweb and there was talk of him reducing the salary of his post as president.  So where has the money come from?  There was talk of donations from businessmen. There were also reports of him giving money to Jacob Zuma - not enough to cover his bar tab or his supermarket home shopping bill but amounts of millions of rand. Rather strange seeing that Zuma has historically been embroiled in a corruption controversy with charges eventually declared unlawful,  and then scandals as to the amount of state funds that have been used for his private residence.  It’s not so much a house, as Zuma new town and this is hardly surprising as he has been married 6 times, four of which are still current. Maybe the current four are drawing straws as to who gets the First Lady duties on international jollies. It must be even more complicated than for Mr Hollande.

I would like to point out I am in no way besmirching Mr Mandela and his work, I was just wondering where the money had come from (or maybe he was just frugal). Perhaps he got big donations for turning up to events?

 

So the winter olympics seem to have become a lot more modern this time, lots of snow skate boarding and even Vanessa Mae calling herself Thai and doing her own " cool runnings" skiing herself into last place. I think i would have tried to watch it if it was Nigel Kennedy.

I wasn't sure when I sent the last Flyer if we fielded individual teams or it was a Great Britain team, its in facet the latter and they are currently 19th in the table, which is about what its been for the last few games.

 

It seems surprising how far people in Ukraine are going to be part of europe, when there is so much euro sceptic behaviour going on in Britain and will continue and grow  leading up to the next UK general election.

Did I tell you my theory that the other Miliband will take over the reins of the Blue party late on, when the general election has been called. It all having been planned, sending him away, let the other one take the flack and for people to get bored with him and then switch horses at the last minute, watch that space.

 

 

 

Steve

 

 

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Another busy year is under way; at least it’s certainly started that way.  I can’t believe that March is on the horizon already.  January saw the gathering of most of the Spectrum clan in Davos for the Financial Forum.  This is our annual conference; a time to gather together to discuss the last year and to ponder what might await us in the coming months.  As it transpired, 2013 was a fabulous year for Spectrum, with business up a massive 51% over the previous year, which had in itself been a record year.

We are joined at these events by market experts from leading financial houses to offer their input on various financial topics.  These sessions are always informative, and often entertaining.  The ‘most entertaining’ title clearly went to a Swiss lawyer, who took us through the demise of the famous Swiss Banking Secrecy era, a subject very pertinent to Daphne’s article two weeks ago.  Amazingly tax fraud, or ‘frode’ as it became for the session, is not illegal in Switzerland.  It is a civil infringement of course, and subject to fines, but the genteel Swiss still recognise that to err is human.  Anyone can forget a few tax details here and there, can’t they?  Not if you live in France or the UK you can’t, so please bear that in mind.

It is amazing to me how administratively far behind you can get when you take a five day break from the office.  Despite keeping in email contact and handling any urgent items by phone, my in-tray was overflowing when I returned from Davos.  This was partly because of my policy of sending out policy statements to all my clients just after the end of each quarter.  I find this can tend to focus the mind on investments, and helps both me and my clients to keep on top of things.  Anyway, the two factors combined to ensure that any leisure pastimes I might have had planned were put aside for a while.

Since then of course a more normal timetable has been restored, and it is largely business as usual, albeit still busy.  Meeting new clients for the first time; writing up reports and then arranging follow-up meetings; executing (hopefully) the ideas presented in the reports, these are only a part of a day’s work.  Monitoring existing business on a regular basis is vital, hence the quarterly reporting.  Then there is also the financial ‘agony uncle’ side to the work, which I find extremely interesting.  E-mail enquiries generated from any number of sources covering all types of financial questions land in my in-box every week.  Sometimes I read them and have no idea what the answer is (such as ‘where can I source bulk volumes of ice cream for my new business in Carcassonne?’ or ‘can I use my UK credit card on motorway petrol pumps on national holidays?).  Yes, really.

Life as a financial adviser is fairly consistent.  There are only so many mainstream subjects (not ice cream) that can crop up in my daily routine, so it is refreshing when something out of the ordinary comes up, and recently I had a very interesting time doing some research for a new client who wanted his money to be invested in SRI funds.  I doubt that many readers will have heard of SRI, but it stands for ‘Socially Responsible Investing’, perhaps better known as ethical investments.  This is not new to me of course, but it isn’t something that crops up in many client meetings.  I tend to think of new clients in investment terms along the scale of carnivores or herbivores; meat eaters or vegetarians.  Meat eaters will invest in most things, and tend to assume that they are not consuming, or indeed investing in, anything toxic.  Vegetarians are more complex.  A normal Veggie will need reassurance that he is not eating any meat or meat derivative products.  In other words he doesn’t want to invest in any of the bad people who pollute our world physically or morally.  Then there are the Vegans, who are not satisfied by the Veggie approach.  No occasional fish or eggs or milk for them; they are straight down the line.  No meat. Period.  The Vegan investor isn’t satisfied with avoiding the bad guys; he’s out to find the good guys and invest in them.  He wants to support irrigation projects; AIDS and Cancer research; sustainable energy sources and the like.  Vegan investors can be difficult to please, as to some even ‘profit’ is a bad word, but trying can be a rewarding experience.

Back to more mundane matters next month, but until then, keep the calls and mails coming!

If you have any questions on this, or any other subject, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Rob Hesketh:

By phone on 0468 247758 or mobile 0631 787647

Or by mail at rob.hesketh@spectrum-ifa.com   You can find out more about Spectrum on www.spectrum-ifa.com  and www.france-financial.com

The Spectrum IFA Group advisers do not charge any fees for their time or for advice given, as can be seen from our Client Charter at http://www.spectrum-ifa.com/spectrum-ifa-client-charter/

 

 

Below I am repeating Daphne's article from the last Flyer, as when i put it in,  various parts were switched around. Apologies to all.

Steve

 

 

 

France’s Fight Against Tax Evasion

 

As part of France’s continuing efforts to combat fiscal fraud, a new piece of legislation was enacted into law on 6th December 2013. This has far-reaching effects, including:

 

  •        Criminal sanctions for serious cases of fiscal fraud are to be increased to a maximum of seven years                    imprisonment and a fine of €2 million, when the fiscal fraud is facilitated by:
    •                                             the use of foreign bank accounts or foreign life assurance policies;
    •                                    foreign entities, including trusts, set up outside of France;
    •                                    the use of false identity or false documents; or
    •                                    artificial or fictitious tax residency.
  •        Undeclared monies held outside of France, whereby the taxpayer cannot prove the provenance, to be taxed        at 60%.
  •  
  •         If, as a result of failing to declare assets outside of France, a taxpayer does not make a wealth tax return           because the ‘none inclusion’ of the assets indicates that they are under the wealth tax threshold limit                 (currently €1.3 million), the penalty is to be increased from 10% to 40% of the tax due.
  •  
  •         The period during which the tax authority can take action to prosecute is to be increased from three years           to six years.

        As concerns trusts, legislation was already introduced in 2011, which has required the trustees to declare to         the French tax authorities the existence of the trust with at least one of the following:

  •                 French resident settlor;
  •                 French resident beneficiary; or
  •                 French situated assets – even if the settlor/beneficiaries are not living in France.

 

        Since 2011, failure to declare the existence of a trust has resulted in a penalty of the greater of 5% of the           value of the total assets of the trust, or €10,000. The new law increases the fine to 12.5% of the value of           the total trust assets or if greater, €20,000.

 

In addition, a public register of trusts is to be established by the Minister of Finance. This will require full details of the trust to be published, including the name(s) of the trustees, the settlor and all of the beneficiaries, as well as the date of establishment of the trust. Therefore, the text of the law is wide and in effect, requires information concerning non-resident beneficiaries to be made public and may also require the names of potential beneficiaries to be published.


France, like many other countries, is targeting tax evasion more and more. Banks and insurance companies are required to report information to tax authorities about their clients and tax authorities around the world are exchanging information. The EU is also proposing to amend EU Directive 2011/16 to expand the field of the mandatory automatic exchange of information between tax authorities to include capital gains, dividends, bank account balances. Banking secrecy will clearly become a thing of the past!

 

It’s a fool’s game to try to hide assets and pretending not to be resident is not a good idea. One way or another, the taxman always finds out and the penalties can be very costly. It is much better to seek regulated advice from professionals who are registered here in France.

 

Does any of this concern you? Would you like to ensure that you and your potential beneficiaries do not pay any more tax on your financial capital and investment income than is necessary? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then please contact me for a confidential discussion.

 

We are also now planning for our Spring Client Seminars. As always, there is no charge for any of our seminars and the speakers’ presentations are followed by a buffet lunch, so places must be booked in advance. The planned dates for the next local events are:

 

  •          21st May at Castelnaudary
  •          22nd May at Perpignan
  •          23rd May at Montpellier

 

As the seminars are always very popular, early booking is recommended.

 

If you would like to discuss your financial situation, in confidence, or if you or you wish to attend one of the seminars, please contact me or by e-mail at daphne.foulkes@spectrum-ifa.com

or by telephone on 04 68 20 30 17.

 

The Spectrum IFA Group advisers do not charge any fees directly to clients for their time or for advice given, as can be seen from our Client Charter at

 

http://www.spectrum-ifa.com/spectrum-ifa-client-charter/.

Daphne Foulkes

SIRET 522 658 194 00017

Numéro d’immatriculation ORIAS 10 056 800

 

 

 

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Email: helplinecsfsud@gmail.com;  National Website: www.cancersupportfrance.info

Forum: http://csf.forum.org     Local Website: www.csf-suddefrance.webs.com

 Local Association No : W112000594

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Xenophobe's® Guide to The French 

 

 

 

Intellectually and spiritually, the average French citizen still identifies very much with the land, romanticising rural and village life to a wholly improbable degree. Inside every Bordeaux businessman, Parisian restaurateur or Grenoble academic still beats the heart of a genuine paysan.



To these displaced urban French, the burly farmer – gunning down the local squirrels, fattening geese for their foie gras and counting every cob of corn in their fields – can be forgiven because of all he does to protect a way of life that they abandoned long ago. Even as the sophisticates fume at the wheels of their Peugeots and Renaults in traffic jams caused by agricultural industrial action (the throwing up of barricades of old tractors, rioting, lobbing stones at the police), they feel deep empathy and spiritual communion with the perpetrators, among whom could well be their grandfathers.



Sixty-four million philosophers

From this rural base, the French have stormed the intellectual high ground. It is the passion for matters of the intellect that makes them natural philosophers. They are a people that eat, drink and breathe philosophy. There is not a farmer, fisherman, waiter, car-worker, shop assistant or housewife who isn't a closet Descartes or Diderot, a Saint-Simon or Sartre.



The reason for this is that the French are brain-driven. They worship ideas and those who generate them, even if the ideas are only in vogue for the briefest periods. A French man or woman will hold up a piece of nifty reasoning with the same pride that another might feel when displaying an Impressionist painting, a Fabergé egg or a Sèvres vase.


 

 

Extract from Xenophobe's® Guide to the French by kind permission of Xenophobe's® Guides – www.xenophobes.com

 

 Tech Talk

 

Watching UK TV on your computer.

I’ve written a number of times before about UK TV on your computer, and the various ways and options for watching UK TV (or other services like Netflix or Lovefilm) while in France. Now that a large number of us have lost the BBC and very soon ITV and channel 4, many of us are looking around for a way to get our daily fix of UK TV especially the UK News.

 

There are many ways to get UK TV via the computer but the well know services like iPlayer do not easily work from here in France. There however some very good free services that allow you to watch TV on computers, tablets, phones and some set-top boxes to start TV’s.

 

At this point in time I do not have any further information on weather it will be possible to receive the satellite signal with a larger satellite dish. The theory yes it should be possible and I suspect by the time you read this many people will have a working system. Please be very careful to check you local building regulations, our Maire has said no dishes larger than 1m can be mounted to the house without approval. There can also be restrictions if you are close to the church or monument, or national park/forest etc.  

 

 

Filmon.com - They allow you to watch most free-to-air channels live in your web browser or via very good iPad, and Android apps or via there own player software for Windows or Mac. www.filmon.com

 

Its also very safe as you are not linking to a remote server, and best of all its free for the standard definition version. They do offer High Definition but only to subscribers.

 

 

Anonomox - pluging for the Firefox browser is another safe option, it hides your location so that you can connect to the iPlayer and all other UK TV sites like ITV player, C4 and C5. Some of there site allow you to watch live TV as well as previously broadcast programs. www.anonymox.net

 

UnoTelly, safe a reliable costing around 3€80 per month or 38 euros for the year. This service works by rewriting the DNS from your computers internet connection to one of their DNS servers and their server recodes it before sending it to the BBC, ITV, Netflix sites etc. so the sites think they are communicating with your computer as if it were in the UK (I’ve greatly simplified what is actually happening). The advantage it is much faster than VPN and also completely Safe. It can be a little tricky to setup, but the quick setup guide they provide is very good. Go to www.Unotelly.com

for more information.

 

VPN - (virtual private network) services like Expat shield, iPortal, StrongVPN, these types of service do carry a risk. The risk small but something you should be aware of if you are going to use this kind of service. The risk is that the link you make between your computer and the VPN server is two way, it was designed for office staff to be able to access a company server across the internet so the information needs to flow both ways. So when you are watching TV is possible (however highly unlikely) that someone else on the server end could be looking through your computer.

It’s for this reason I do not recommend these services, unless you have a computer or laptop that has no data on it or have it through a VPN router protected with a firewall.

If you need help or have any questions about your computer please give me a call or send me an email for FREE advice.

 

I hope this will help a few people now that we have lost the BBC and soon ITV and C4.

If people want more info I suggest they contact Richard. See below

Satellite installers are rushed of there feet, a good person to contact is Richard at Sky in France info@skyinfrance.co.uk Tel: 05 63 59 85 16.

Richard has a team of professional installers from other regions of France that are not affect coming to the area in the next week or two to help everyone get reconnected with larger satellite dishes. 

 

 

 

Bruce@mirax.org or Telephone 05 61 60 84 23.

 

 

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Thank you for your patience

   
   

 

   

 

 

The Property Page

 

 

 

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Period house in a beautiful Razes circulade village.  This renovated but unspoilt house is over 200 years old and has far reaching views of countryside, hills and mountains from almost every room, and a stunning roof terrace.  There are 3 double bedrooms, large lounge, separate dining room and kitchen.  There is also a very large walk-thru cellar.  The house retains many period features including a beautiful oak staircase.  Price 110,000 euros.  Please contact linda.la@live.co.uk for further details and viewings.

 

 

 

 

 

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Villa for sale 11390 Brousses-et-Villaret Aude 295,000 €

 

Bordebasse du Lac - Cottage available for long term rental

 

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Holiday Apartment AiguaBlava,

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Some vide greniers and foires!
Please check before setting off http://vide-greniers.org
They also have a sister site where you can giveaway stuff or find stuff others are giving http://donnons.org
Its all recycling - you know it makes sense!
If there are two in the same town on the same day, it could be a duplicate on the site or a second event
Black = Aude - Brown = Ariege
vide

 

Apologies for no info in this section on the last Flyer, the site where i get them from was down

 

 

Samedi 22 Février 2014 

Coursan  (vide grenier)

Lavalette  (loto de la petanque)

Narbonne  (vide grenier dimanches et jours feries)

Saverdun  (vide-Greniers)

Dimanche 23 Février 2014           

Azille  (vide grenier des cyclos)

Bram  (vide Grenier de l'AS BRAM HANDBALL)

Carcassonne  (vide grenier brocante)

Coursan  (vide grenier)

Laure-Minervois  (vide-Grenier du Comité des fêtes)

Les Cassés  (vide dressing)

Narbonne  (brocante & collection)

Narbonne  (vide grenier dimanches et jours feries)

Pamiers  (Marché et puces et à la brocantes)

Lundi 24 Février 2014     

Limoux  (vente de vetements à 1 Euro)                  

Mercredi 26 Février 2014             

Limoux  (vente vetements à 1 Euro)         

 

 

Coursan  (vide grenier)

Narbonne  (vide grenier dimanches et jours feries)

Dimanche 2 Mars 2014  

Bram  (vide grenier intérieur)

Carcassonne  (vide grenier brocante)

Caunes-Minervois  (vide grenier)

Coursan  (vide grenier)

Limoux  (marché aux puces)

Narbonne  (vide grenier dimanches et jours feries)

Narbonne  (brocante & collection)

Narbonne  (vide grenier)

Plavilla  (vide greniers et brocante)

Villespy  (loto des écoles du RPI (Carlipa, Cenne Monetsies, Villespy))

Mazères  (vide grenier mensuel)

Pamiers  (loto associatifs "LA BARAKA")

Pamiers  (Marché et puces et à la brocantes)

Saint-Lizier  (vide grenier de Saint-Lizier)

Saint-Lizier  (marché aux Puces, de la cave au grenier)

 

 

 What's On

 

SEPULTURA 25 Feb Bikini Toulouse

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL, QUIDAM 5 TO 9 March Zenith Toulouse 

 

JOHN MAYALL 8 March Bikini Toulouse

BETH HART 19 March Bikini Toulouse

TOQUES ET CLOCHERS 12/13 April Toureilles

HOLIDAY ON ICE 21 to 23 March Zenith Toulouse

METRONOMY 25 April Zenith Toulouse

JELLO BIAFRA & THE GSM 29 April Bikini Toulouse

ARTISTES A SUIVRE 29 May to June 6, Haute Vallee

 

 

NINE INCH NAILS 1 June Zenith Toulouse

ELTON JOHN 15 July Carcassonne Festival

LANA DEL REY 17 July Carcassonne Festival

JOE SATRIANI + CHICAGO 19 July Carcassonne Festival

FRANZ FERDINAND 20 July Carcassonne Festival

MASSIVE ATTACK 24 July Carcassonne Festival

THE JACKSONS 25 July Carcassonne Festival

VANESSA PARADIS 28 July Carcassonne Festival

MADNESS 29 July Carcassonne Festival

JAMES BLUNT 30 July Carcassonne Festival

 

   
   

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