Image via WikipediaOr how to turn 26,700 Euros into 2,000,000 Euros in nine years, by completely legal methods.
It has to be said that this is not available to everyone.....but it would get the imprimatur of all those who believe in the French national preference (French come first, the rest get the leavings) as it has no tinge of what are disdainfully referred to as Anglo Saxon financial practices...which for me conjures up visions of Grendel's mother emerging from the lake, briefcase in hand, followed by a troop of bankers in cross gartering and horned helmets, but then I'm not French and do not share the national cultural vision.
To activate this miracle, the person concerned has to be qualified to attract an investigation into their financial affairs by the French taxman.....a privilege not open to all, even in the land of liberty, equality and fraternity.
It excludes the super rich...the ones who hand out the folding stuff in doggy bags to politicians who come to tea..
It excludes politicians...as it would be regarded as indelicate to enquire into the origin of the contents of the doggy bags for fear of inclusion of the super rich in the miracle which is about to be vouchsafed unto you and it would be equally indelicate to enquire into the uses made of the contents of the doggy bags for fear of involving a third group who suffer a like discrimination...
Local notables.....the sub prefect, assorted maires, political fixers and the ladies with whom they spend the hours from five o'clock until seven in the early evening.
There is a further requirement, just to complicate matters...but then, if it looks too good to be true, that's just what it is and this is no Madoff scheme.
There has to be a 'denunciation' to the tax authorities to enable them to start the process.
Now, in France, denunciation can be regarded as a civic obligation...and the German occupying forces were astonished at the readiness of the French to carry out their civic obligations.
Nothing much has changed since.
But you need to carry out your civic obligations with a bit of circumspection.
A denunciation is the provision of information to an appropriate body that alerts the said body to the existence of something nasty in its woodshed.....like someone fiddling their tax returns or underpaying their workers' social security payments.
However, a denunciation has to be signed and an address given...which is where the circumspection comes in.
Careful enquiry needs to be made as to the social milieu of the person to be denounced.
Denunciation of anyone in the three social sectors excluded from the operations of the miracle tends to result in the denunciator being investigated instead, which rather defeats the purpose, although discouraging other would-be denunciators from wasting the time of hard pressed bureaucrats.
A quick flip through the family tree of the local taxman is not a bad idea either...on the same grounds.
But without a signature, no enquiry can be made...according to President Sarkozy.
A potential dilemma for the denunciator.
But help is at hand.
In a judgement of 1998, the Cour de Cassation decided that the taxman could proceed to seize property and goods on the strength of an anonymous tip off......a 'delation'.
And the judgement stands.
So an anonymous letter will do the trick.
However, even if avoiding the risk of investigation, the delator...as we must now call him or her....knows that no one from the four sectors outlined above will be investigated, so has to aim the barbs at someone deemed appropriate prey.
Someone who has, to general astonishment, made his own way without the help of powerful local family or connections to a point where he is wealthy - by local standards - and thus attracts jealousy, that curse of French life which animates the spirits behind the formal courtesies and rituals of everyday routine.
His money will evidently be of suspect origin as not being collected in doggy bags.
The financial miracle can begin!
The taxman starts an investigation into Monsieur Goupil's affairs. He finds that Monsieur Goupil has understated his financial position and owes the taxman 294,000 Euros.
Monsieur Goupil responds by hiring a fiscal specialist who, after four years, brings the taxman to agree that Monsieur Goupil only owes 26,700 Euros.
However, before Monsieur Goupil can settle his agreed debt of 26,700 Euros, he first has to pay up the 294,000 Euros to clear the original claim, at which point the taxman will initiate the somewhat lengthy process of refunding it to him.
Now, if at this point Monsieur Goupil agrees to pay up, the miracle does not work, but those who have earned their money the hard way tend to have a sense of injustice being done and should he consider this a distinctly unjust procedure, the miracle can proceed.
Monsieur Goupil will place all his assets into voluntary receivership to avoid the taxman getting his hands on the loot while safeguarding the jobs of his employees.
The administrator appointed will then start selling off the assets at knock down values at auction...incidentally destroying the jobs of the employees.
Monsieur Goupil, realising too late that in his case the age of miracles is over, John Paul II notwithstanding, tries to raise the 294,000 from the assets in receivership.
But they are no longer his assets.
He is hauled into court, given a six month suspended sentence, made officially bankrupt...and has to pay the administrator 56,000 Euros.
By this time his various obligations, debts, fees and costs amount to 2,000,000 million Euros..
The miracle has happened!
The state has turned a debt of 26,700 Euros into one of 2,000,000 Euros.....
Monsieur Goupil is living in a caravan dependent on friends for food.....
And somewhere a delator is cursing his or her pusillanimity in not signing the letter, which means that the taxman has no way of expressing the gratitude of the state by a donation of the folding stuff in a doggy bag.