A Frenchwoman found proof of the maxim that nothing in life is certain except death and taxes, when she received a bill in the name of a grandfather who died in 1949.
“I didn’t think I’d hear any more about my grandfather, whom I never knew,” Martine Courtois told AFP, after reading the 13-euro land inheritance tax bill addressed to her grandfather, Pierre Barotte.
“Everything was done legally at the time, we didn’t get any demands from the tax office,” said Courtois, who lives in the small eastern town of Bruyeres.
The local tax office said the situation was entirely normal and “happens all the time” when an unpaid tax debt, through interest or late payment fees, goes beyond 12 euros. “The day the money due goes over this threshold, the machine gets going,” a tax spokesman told AFP, asking not to be named…
Courtois has not paid the bill and instead sent a letter to the tax office: “My grandfather died in 1949, please do what’s necessary.”
I was looking around to see if there was a more detailed version of this tale. Ended up returning to this publication of the AFP release in the Telegraph. I thought about explaining what happened – and then read the comments from typical Kool Aid Party-types whose presumption always is that someone in government bears individual responsibility.
It’s nothing more than leaving silly old rules on the books as times change. Doesn’t make it less funny. But it certainly doesn’t make it a socialist plot. Even in France.
No bureaucratic decisions are required. Just people following rules which predate modern tax law even more than they predate the introduction of the Euro.
Though it does seem to give patent-leather-libertarians an opportunity to vent their spleen. A recurrent image in a world containing politicians like Ron Paul.