Friday, 11 December 2009

Word of the day "le splitting intégral"

When you go to the local French boulangerie and and try to be good rather than be tempted by delicious croissants and pains au chocolat, you might ask for "un pain intégral" or a wholemeal loaf.
However there is nothing wholemeal about the meaning of intégral in the letter I received from the Swiss tax authorities today - although I live in France I am taxed in the country I work in. They informed me that from next year they would be applying "le splitting intégral" to all married and cohabiting couples alike. This led me to say to my French translator colleague that French needed something like the Plain English Campaign. Certainly if French had something like the German Unwort des Jahres then this term would get my vote.
If I have understood correctly then what it means is that the whole salary of both partners will be taken into account before being once more "split" to determine what each one should pay in terms of tax individually.
The canton of Geneva is one of the few places which taxes married couples (who both work and don't have children) at a much higher rate than cohabiting couples. All this wholemeal splitting will apparently lead to that changing.
Perhaps I should just stick to going to the Boulangerie!