Back in June, when I was getting started in France, one of my major headaches was the form-filling. The French excel at bureaucracy – the number of times I’ve had to show my birth certificate/marriage certificate/degrees/passport is just amazing for me as a brit. Why do the bank need to see my wedding cert? Why do the uni need to see all my qualifications, three times?
But the real problem for me is the proliferation of impossible questions. The first question on the form I had to fill in to get a social security number asked for my numéro INSEE, and after asking about four people I found out that this was asking for my social security number. Er, hello, I don’t have one. That’s why I’m filling in this damn form.
So here I am in my last month in France getting geared up for a new bout of form filling – I expect to have to do it for gas, electric, internet, income tax, health insurance, etc. etc. The latest form to arrive is for the Taxe D’Habitation (kind of a council tax). They didn’t just send me a bill – no, that would be too easy. They’ve sent me a form with 14 questions. The first of which asks for my numéro FIP, which apparently I can find on the first page of my tax return, which I haven’t received. They also want to know all sorts of other stuff, which I can probably work out, but I can see this particular bit of bureaucracy dragging on a bit. Which is a shame, as I’m leaving the flat at the start of June and would have liked to get this out of the way. I hope they’re not as bad as MGEN, the mutuelle I have to use for health insurance – they sent me a letter two weeks ago about the final piece of documentation they needed to set up my account, 10 months after I started the process.