Well, we've been to see a very sweet lady in the Tax Office. Nobody waiting, so almost straight in. Didn't make a fuss about English speaker so got a lady who started by saying that English people frightened her! But in a smiley way so all well so far.
And there was very little problem understanding face to face which restored my french speaking confidence somewhat.
But what was there to understand??
Our Taxe Fonciere has doubled (this is a tax related to the number of rooms/bathrooms). Between the period the last one covers (2009) and the one this one covers (2010) we have had the barn converted to become part of the house. We assumed that this was relevant to the increase - never assume!
It has doubled because, as part of the system, we told them what the original house we have extended, contained. Apparently they were still working on some ancient information from God knows when. So the increase has nothing to do with the barn, it's just to do with updating the information.
We also haven't told them that the work is finished. They don't include the barn rooms until we tell them we have finished the work. (Which will make our total bill 3 1/2 times what it is now!) But because we have changed an attached barn into accommodation we are exempt from tax on the barn for two years after the date we tell them it's finished. If we tell them before 1st January 2011 it will be exempt for 2011 and 2012 and if we tell them on the 2nd January it will be exempt for 2012 2013. (Sorry to get technical, just writing it down while I remember.)
So................................ we still have a balcony on the plans...........................I'll just have to go and look up how long we have to complete the work before some other bit of paper becomes invalid.