Chris Slade describes the son et lumiere presentation at the abbey of Bon Repos called "Le Pays de Conomor" in Brittany, which takes place during the first two weeks of August.
Meeting the accountant. Accountants are a very different breed in France.
It seems to me accountants in England are a far more creative bunch. They know the laws, rules and regulations about all things financial and then work with their clients to ensure that they pay as less as possible in taxes. To English accountants this represents a real challenge and they relish in it.
Things could not be more different just one hop across the channel. Here accountants are tax collectors where their aim is to collect AS MUCH TAX as possible.
There was a receipt for paint. The accountant asks, as this paint used for renovating a gite or redecorating?
Does it matter? I ask.
Why yes, she replied, one will yield a much more positive figure on your accounts.
I’ll go for that one.
Stoney faced, the accountant just would not tell me whether renovating or redecorating was the most tax efficient use of my paint.
So, just imagine her joy when she told me about the Tourism Tax. The tourism Tax has just been introduced into the La Gacilly commune and all gites, hotels and bed and breakfasts within the La Gacilly commune must now pay a tourism tax. This tax is per person per night.
You must recover this tax from your clients when they arrive. The French are quite used to this tax. It would be best if they could make a cheque direct to the commune treasury. This way your guests will know that you arenӴ trying to make any more money but that this is a real tax.
Now this just would not work on SO many levels.
Firstly, the majority of our guests are English and very few, if any, have a French bank account.
Secondly, the English just aren’t used to this tax.
Thirdly, the last thing I would want to do when greeting tired guests whom have been travelling for the last 12 hours would be to ask for their tourism tax not a good way to start a holiday.
On balance, the accountant may not like itŠbut I think this tax as with the many other taxes must be our cost.