In 1954, France introduced the Value Added Tax, commonly referred to as Taxe sur la Valeur Ajoutée (TVA). By 1968, this tax system was extended to cover the whole economy, marking the generalization of VAT. France led the way in introducing VAT along with Germany and several other EU nations adopting it soon after.
The rules and guidelines related to VAT compliance in France, including registrations, returns, Intrastat, DEB, ESLs, and other elements, are dictated by EU VAT Directives.
Learn more about VAT in France in our comprehensive guide.
The foundation of EU VAT legislation lies in its directives and regulations, with the primary directive being EU VAT Directive 2006/112/EC. These European provisions are integrated into the French Tax Code (Code Général des Impôts). VAT laws in France are overseen by the Direction de la Legislation Fiscale, in conjunction with regional tax authorities.
Transactions subject to French VAT typically encompass:
There are five major elements of the definition of a taxable supply in France:
|Tax Authority||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|
|Intra-Community acquisitions||EUR 460,000|
|Intra-EU Distance sales and electronically supplied services to consumers (OSS)||EUR 10,000|
|VAT Group||Allowed. Fully operational starting 1 January 2023. Only business based in France are eligible to join VAT Group.|
|Voluntary Registration||N/A, No VAT Registration Threshold|
|Recovery of VAT by non-established businesses||Yes|
|Compliance Returns and Deadlines|
|Frequency||Monthly, quarterly, and annual returns
|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|
|Electronic Invoicing||All companies are obligated to use e-invoicing starting July 1, 2024.Gradual Implementation: Large Companies- July 1 2024, Mid-sized Companies- January 1 2025, Small and Medium Entities- January 1 2026|
The OECD urged G7 finance ministers and central bank governors to enhance capacity building and aid African countries in their tax policy reforms.
Every VAT ID must include a prefix based on the ISO 3166 alpha-2 code, which helps in identifying the respective EU Member State.
For businesses operating within the European Union, the intra-community VAT number serves as a distinctive identifier. Each country’s intra-community number has a specific format. In France, it’s made up of the “FR” code followed by 11 digits: a 2-digit computer key and a 9-digit SIREN number. The final two numbers act as a verification digit, for example, FR12345678901.
Both SIREN and SIRET numbers help in pinpointing corporations.
The SIREN number, an abbreviation for “System of Enterprise Register Identification”, is a distinct identification number for every enterprise. It aids in distinguishing each company when interacting with administrative bodies.
The SIRET number, short for “System of Establishment Directory Identification”, is used to uniquely identify each branch or unit within a corporation. Consequently, the total number of SIRET numbers a corporation has equals its total number of branches or units. The 14-digit number combines the 9-digit SIREN number and the 5-digit NIC (a unique classification number for each branch).
The EORI number, standing for “Economic Operator Registration and Identification”, is a unique community identifier assisting economic entities when they engage with customs departments. The structure of the EORI number is based on the country where the business was founded. In France, it begins with “FR” followed by the SIRET code.
Last Updated: 26/10/2023
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