In 1954, France enacted the Value Added Tax, known as Taxe sur la Valeur Ajoutée (TVA). In 1968, it was expanded to include the entire economy (generalization of VAT).
France was the first country to implement VAT along with Germany and other EU member states following shortly. In the EU, VAT legislation is harmonized in many respects.
Learn more about VAT in France in our comprehensive guide.
EU VAT Directives govern registrations, returns, Intrastat, DEB, ESLs, and other aspects of VAT compliance in France. EU VAT legislation is mainly based on directives and regulations. The key EU directive on VAT is EU VAT Directive 2006/112/EC (the “EU VAT Directive”).
These European “laws” are incorporated into French Tax Code (Code Général des Impôts). In France, the Direction de la Legislation Fiscale, in collaboration with provincial tax offices, governs VAT law.
Transactions that are taxable for French VAT purposes generally include:
There are five major elements of the definition of taxable supply in France:
|National Legislation||Direction générale des Finances publiques|
|VAT in local languages||Taxe sur la valeur ajoutée or TVA|
|VAT number format||13 letters [FR + 11 digits]|
|VAT rates||Standard 20%; Reduced 10%, 5.5% and 2.1%|
|Zero-rated (0%) and exempt|
|Frequency||Monthly, quarterly, and annual returns|
|Intra-Community acquisitions||EUR 460,000|
|Intra-EU Distance sales and electronically supplied services to consumers (OSS)||EUR 10,000|
|Recovery of VAT by non-established businesses||Yes|
|Compliance Returns and Deadlines
|VAT Return M||19th & 24th of the following month.|
|VAT Return Q||19th of the month following the quarter at the latest.|
|Intrastat M||11th of the following month|
|Annual Return||During the 2nd working day following 1 May|
The assessment provides clarifications on the 10,000 EUR threshold of Article 259D of the General Tax Code (CGI) on which traders are authorized to submit to VAT the transactions concerning the country of dispatch.
One by one, all countries are hopping on the electronic invoicing train which is a natural evolution of the new digital era. France is also slowly updating its systems to steadily integrate e-invoicing for all transactions.
Each individual VAT identification number must contain an ISO code 3166 – alpha 2 – prefix that allows the Member State to be identified.
The intra-community VAT number is a unique identifier for businesses doing business within the European Union. The intra-community number has a structure that is unique to each country. It consists of the FR code and 11 digits in France (2-digit computer key and 9-digit SIREN number). The last two digits are a control number, e.g., FR12345678901.
SIREN and SIRET numbers are used to identify a corporation.
The SIREN number (for “enterprise register identification system”) is each enterprise’s unique identifying number. This number is used to identify each firm with the administrations.
The SIRET number (which stands for “establishment directory identification system”) enables it to identify each establishment that makes up a corporation. As a result, the corporation has the same number of SIRET numbers as it does establishments. It has 14 digits: the 9 digits of the SIREN number plus the 5 digits of the NIC (internal classification number specific to each establishment).
The EORI number (which stands for “economic operator registration and identification”) is a one-of-a-kind community number that allows economic operators to be identified while dealing with customs authorities. The EORI number’s structure is determined by the company’s founding nation. It is composed of the letters FR + the code SIRET in France.
Last Updated: 14/02/2022
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