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 French VAT refund.
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|
|VAT name 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||460 000 EUR|
|Intrastat threshold on dispatch||460 000 EUR|
|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 declaration||monthly depending on threshold|
|EC Sales List (ESL) declaration||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||Penalty of 10% on the amount of duty charged to the taxpayer, and late payment interest of 0.2% per month overdue. In the event of failure to file within 30 days of the formal notice, a penalty of 40% on the amount of duty payable by the taxpayer, and late payment interest of 0.2% per month overdue.|
|Late payment of VAT||Penalty of 5% of the amount of VAT due for each month overdue, and interest of 0.2% for each month of overdue.|
|Failure to report ESL/DEB||Penalty of EUR 750 per declaration. Penalty increased to EUR 1,500 if the return is not filed within 30 days of the formal notice.|
Useful links on VAT in France
|Tax Authorities 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|
The current VAT rates in France are as follows:
Certain transactions in Europe may require registering for VAT and filingVAT returns in France:
In France just like in other European Union countries, e-traders 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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