VAT in France

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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.

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Introduction to VAT in France

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.

Scope of Taxation

Transactions that are taxable for French VAT purposes generally include:


  • supplies of goods or services performed by a taxable person acting as such effected for consideration.
  • Intra-Community acquisitions.
  • Imports.


Taxable Supplies


There are five major elements of the definition of taxable supply in France:

  • A delivery of goods or a provision of services.
  • Resulting from an economic activity.
  • For valuable consideration.
  • Made by persons within the VAT framework.
  • That is not a tax-exempt transaction.

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France –  General VAT information

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 


Established  None 
Non-established  None 
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 

French VAT number

The VAT number for intra-community 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.

Other Identification Numbers in France:

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 is a unique identifier for each individual.

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



The information provided by Global VAT Compliance B.V. on this webpage is intended for general informational purposes only. Global VAT Compliance B.V. is not responsible for the accuracy of the information on these pages, and cannot be held liable for claims or losses deriving from the use of this information. If you wish to receive VAT related information please contact our experts at support@gvc.tax

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