As alluded to from the very beginning of this mini-series on micro-entrepreneur, it consisted of short, storytelling posts (rather than the usual in-depth, informative articles). In keeping with this format, I have adopted a typical story structure to plot my narrative. There was a beginning (i.e. the seven opening posts about the micro-entrepreneur status), a middle crisis (One last thing about being a micro-entrepreneur), a rising action (A dedicated bank account), and a climax (When all the crap hits the fan at the same time…). However, I have yet to write the denouement.
Needless to say, matters were not resolved
thanks to the N26 bank.
Now, while I have concluded the mini-series about the N26 nightmare, there is still an open question. What did happen to the damn one-euro tax? Did I manage to pay it “forthwith”? Well, this brings me to the final act of my micro-entrepreneur endeavor.
First thing first, to regularize my situation
I invite you to regularize your situation as soon as possible and to submit a request for the remission of late payment penalties.URSSAF
What should have been just a formality turned out to be a grueling obstacle course. From the PayPal impasse to the N26 fiasco, I struggled but failed all my attempts. To recap, I should have paid my social security contribution by January 31 noon. I submitted my payment via PayPal Pro on January 4 but discovered on February 5 that it did not go through. From that very moment, I have tried to pay my one-euro contribution via N26, but to no avail! Little more than three months passed between my first attempt to open a business account with them and their last brush-off. You can do the math; this delay doesn’t fit with the definition of “forthwith”.
As for my inquiry (right) sent to URSAFF immediately, that is on February 5, their answer – received on April 25 – was as follow:
I invite you to regularize your situation as soon as possible and to submit a request for the remission of late payment penalties.
Your payment by PayPal Pro was not accepted by our system. You cannot pay your contributions by this method of payment.
As explained earlier, there was also a one-page explanation “How to make your transfer” from my bank account. Of course, using my Personal bank account to do so was not an option; it would have sounded the death knell for the latter (see When all the crap hits the fan at the same time…). Talk about a catch 22!
“So, how did you do?”
“I simply asked someone else to make the transfer for me.”
“And what about the late payment penalties?”
“Surprisingly, I never received anything1 about that.”
And for what?
As explained in Becoming a micro-entrepreneur, I did not decide to become a micro-entrepreneur when (or because) I started my podcasting adventure. Instead, this decision imposed itself on me when I secured a mini-contract as a consultant. The best option at the time, keeping in mind my anticipated future as a podcaster, ended up creating an independent activity as a micro-entrepreneur. Fast forward far too many months and I am still not there – my podcast has not been released yet (see 100th post – a bittersweet celebration!). As you may recall, I was about to be automatically removed from the micro-entrepreneur system because I had no turnover for 24 consecutive months (see One last thing about being a micro-entrepreneur) and I went into a lot of trouble to keep this status.
“So, why did you put an end to it then?”
As you may already know if you follow this blog, new priorities forced themselves upon me during this period. In particular, to keep up with my to-be-growing family needs, I had to find a more lucrative activity than my loss-making business. While I managed to find a job, it was in a different country – i.e. not in France. Granted, I could have paid for a domiciliation service (in order to keep my micro-entrepreneur status); yet, this was not a cheap option. Besides, I knew I would have to put CogitActive on hold for a few months2 (see 100th post – a bittersweet celebration!). Therefore, I decided to go through the cessation of activity procedure.
The procedure is as straightforward as the declaration of activity (see Becoming a micro-entrepreneur). You just have to fill a form and provide proof of identity. Then, you should receive by email a confirmation that your deregistration is being processed. Easy, right! Except that my declaration of cessation of activity was first rejected by the business formalities center (CFE):
The URSSAF regional business formalities center in LORRAINE informs you that:
Your declaration dated 06/22/2020 referred to [OBFUSCATED] has been refused.
I repeated the exact same procedure a few days later, and received on July 8 the aforementioned
receipt of file submission:
The URSSAF Regional Business Formalities Center of LORRAINE has received your declaration file of 06/26/2020, reference [OBFUSCATED].
This time, it went through. I was no more a micro-entrepreneur (as confirmed later by mail). I still had to declare my zero euro turnover for the previous period, though. The rest is history3.
1 Owing to the Covid-19 crisis, the French institutions were a little more lenient (with payment deadlines). I may have benefited from this. ^
2 It turns out that, at the time of this writing, it has already been 18 months! ^
3 If you don’t know what happened next, you may want to consider checking the posts in the News archive; those published from October 8, 2020, until November 12, 2020, in particular. ^