Register for VAT in France

Are you supplying, or looking to supply goods to France? If your business was not established in the country, you will likely be affected by the EU VAT (Value Added Tax) directive. Whether you are inside or outside the EU, you are likely to have to register for non-resident VAT.

Do I need to register for VAT in France?

The circumstances in which you will have to register for French VAT include:

  • Buying and selling goods or services in France
  • Selling and shipping goods contained in France to buyers outside of France
  • Importing goods to France from inside the EU
  • Storing goods or other physical property in France
  • Selling online goods or services to buyers in France*
  • Holding events in France with paid admission

* when exceeding Distance Selling thresholds

If your business is currently or potentially affected by any of these factors, you are legally required to appoint a tax representative to register for VAT on your behalf. Contact us for a free consultation on your business’s unique VAT requirements.

What are the VAT rates in France?

The standard rate of VAT in France is 20%. A 5% or 10% rate of reduced VAT applies to certain products based on specific criteria.

What are the VAT return periods in France?

VAT returns must be submitted monthly or quarterly, depending on the company’s turnover. Returns must be submitted by the 19th day of the month following the tax period.

France does not require that you submit an annual summarising return.

What is the Distance Selling threshold in France?

The distance selling threshold, which determines whether you need to pay VAT for sales to French customers, is €35,000.

What is the Intrastat threshold in France?

The Intrastat threshold, which affects the movement of goods between France and another EU state, is €460,000 for both arrivals and dispatches.

What if I sell goods on Amazon?

Many online sellers who are trading via Amazon make use of their Fulilment By Amazon (FBA) service. In order to trade faster and easier across Europe, companies use Amazon to store, pick, pack and deliver your products to the buyer’s local address.

Even though you may think that you’re making sales from you’re home country, Amazon holds the goods locally and the product would therefore be considered as a local sale, and subsequently liable for VAT.

VAT is the responsibility of the seller, not Amazon, and you can face heavy fines for not registering and/or paying VAT.