Whether you’re a European or non-European company, establishing certain activities in France may mean you need to register for VAT. You can use a fiscal representative or tax advisor to draw up your VAT, Intrastat and ESL returns with total peace of mind in France.
If you deal with companies in France, you may be able to claim a VAT refund. French
Here you can find the specifics of VAT regulations in France, which work alongside the harmonised framework of the EU as explained in our guide to intra-Community VAT obligations.
|VAT introduced in France||1954|
|Nom de la TVA in France||Taxe sur la valeur ajoutée (TVA)|
|VAT ID format in France||FRXX 999999999|
|Territories with special status in France||French overseas deparments: Reunion, Guadeloupe, Martinique- Mayotte: French overseas territories: New Caledonia, Polynesia, Wallis & Futuna, Saint Pierre & Miquelon.|
VAT rates in France
|Standard VAT rate||20 %|
|Reduced VAT rate (1)||10 %|
|Reduced VAT rate (2)||5.5%|
|Super reduced VAT rate||2,10 %|
|VAT parking rate||n/a|
|Zero VAT rate||no|
Thresholds triggering VAT reporting obligations in France
|Intrastat threshold at introduction||At the request of the customs administration|
|Intrastat threshold on dispatch||At the request of the customs administration|
|Distance selling threshold||As of 1st July 2021, the threshold is EUR 10,000 for all intra-Community distance sales.|
Reporting frequency in France
|Intrastat return||monthly depending on threshold|
|EC Sales List (ESL) return||monthly according to threshold/conditions|
|VAT returns||monthly depending on threshold, quarterly depending on threshold/for certain services|
VAT-related penalties in France
|Failure to file a VAT return||A 10% penalty if the return is filed within 30 days after receiving the rectification proposal. When the company only carries out operations taxable at 0%, it is a fixed fine of 150 euros.|
|Late payment of VAT||A penalty of 5% of the amount of VAT due and 0.2% interest for each month of delay.|
|Failure to report ESL/DEB||A fine of 750 euros per ESL declaration. The fine is increased up to 1,500 euros when it is not produced within 30 days after a formal notice from the administration.|
Useful links on VAT in France
|Tax Administration in France||Tax authorities|
|Ministry of Finance in France||Ministry of Finance|
|Check a VAT number in France||Check a VAT number|
|EU VAT Guide||EU VAT Guide|
Les taux de TVA actuellement en vigueur in France sont les suivants:
Certain transactions in Europe may require VAT registration and the filing of VAT returns in France:
In France , as in other European Union countries, e-sellers must register for VAT:
In addition to VAT registration, e-traders must:
You may need a VAT number in France to fulfil your tax obligations in this country. Indeed, certain activities such as sales, purchases and subcontracting operations may require VAT identification. To check if your activities require VAT identification in France, use our VAT simulator or contact us.
VAT French is named Taxe sur la valeur ajoutée (TVA)and the VAT numbers in France have the following structure: FRXX 999999999.
Registering for VATis a relatively simple formality compared to setting up a company, but in addition to obtaining a VAT number in Franceyou’ll need to file periodic VAT returns to ensure your VAT compliance. Which is why we recommend foreign companies use a fiscal representative or tax advisor.
Companies with a VAT number in France must complete and submit VAT returns in France detailing all taxable income (sales) and expenses (costs), with the following periodicity: monthly depending on threshold, quarterly depending on threshold/for certain services.
Failure to comply with the deadlines imposed by the French authorities for the deposit and payment of VAT will result in the payment of penalties . For this reason, it is recommended that foreign companies use the services of an agent or a tax representative.
These penalties are defined as follows in France:
In addition to VAT returns, companies may be required to provide the French authorities with Intrastat & EC Sales List returns:
In principle, a non-resident company in France can recover all or part of the VAT incurred on its expenses.
There are three different scenarios:
*This information is subject to change without notice.
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