Why do I need to register for
VAT and obtain a VAT ID
- Once the net turnover of distance sales exceeds the EU-wide annual threshold of € 10,000 you become subject to VAT in all countries in which you are selling to private customers.
- That means, a VAT registration and the subsequent filing of VAT returns with the local tax authorities become mandatory.
- The threshold also applies EU-wide, meaning as a sum of distance sales to several countries combined. Participation in the OSS-Program however exempts you from individual VAT Registrations.
- Another reason to complete a VAT registration in France is the storage of goods.
- If goods are stored either independently or through warehouses of a fulfillment program or partner, you are subject to VAT in the country of storage.
- Then you not only need to register, but also file VAT returns in France.
- Similarly to the storage by a fulfillment provider, Amazon fulfillment also requires you to register for VAT in France.
- By participating in a Fulfilled-by-Amazon program you are authorizing Amazon to store your goods in a multitude of countries, within the PAN-EU program for example in Spain, France, and Italy.
- In this case, you might not know that your goods are stored in France, but they might be. That’s why you have to complete, amongst others, a French VAT registration.
Are you distance selling to French customers? Are you storing your goods in France via a fulfillment provider or Amazon? Then a VAT registration with the French tax authorities is necessary. Our team at hellotax can handle not only your VAT registration but also the filings of VAT returns and tax declarations. Book a consultation with us today or check out all our services.
How do I register
for VAT in France?
A VAT registration is usually made at the French tax office, the “Service des Impôts des Entreprises” (SIE). The application forms are available in English, but they must be filled in in French! If you do not have a good knowledge of the French language make sure to work with a translator or a representative. Or use our hellotax VAT software and get you registration done with just a few clicks.
Additionally the following documents need to be submitted:
- Natural person: ID card (copy)
- Juridical person: Articles of association (copy) Note: Main keywords must be translated into French!
- Commercial register (copy)
- Proof of a VAT number in your country of origin
- Proof of business activity in France (e.g., bills, contracts)
- If the application is submitted by an authorized representative, you need to add the original power of attorney (Désignation d’un mandataire)
Some of the documents must be translated into French by a sworn translator and certified by a sworn notary!
Register in time to avoid problems with the French tax authorities or fines. You can make your VAT registration in France easier by using our hellotax VAT automation tool. Further, you can automate VAT payments, VAT returns and correspondence with the authorities. Check it out now!
Distance Selling to France
and the EU-wide threshold
Until recently, if sales for France crossed the French threshold for distance sales of € 35,000, you needed to complete a VAT registration in France. Since July 2021 however, country-specific thresholds were replaced by an EU-wide distance selling threshold of € 10,000. All sales made until that threshold is crossed are taxed with the VAT rate of the home country and VAT is paid there. That means no additional VAT registrations are necessary. However, as soon as a sale crosses the threshold, registrations for VAT become mandatory in all countries to which goods are sold. That’s because sales also need to be taxed with the corresponding VAT rates, VAT needs to be paid to the local authorities, and VAT returns need to be filed.
Attention: Until July 2021 distance sellers needed to keep country-specific thresholds in mind and register for countries individually. Since the new delivery thresholds applies across the EU, several VAT registrations can now be due at the same time.
Example: You are a German distance seller with a net turnover of € 6,000 in France, € 3,000 in Spain, and € 2,000 in Poland. In this case the sum of turnover exceeds the € 10,000 threshold and you are subject to VAT in all three countries. How much turnover is taxed with the polish VAT rate depends on the sale that tipped the scale and reached the threshold. If you made all sales in France and Spain before selling wares in Poland, then a polish sale hit the mark and half of the turnover needs to be taxed with the polish VAT rate. However, all previous sales to France and Spain are taxed with the German VAT rate as those sales took place before the € 10,000 mark was hit.
How does the OSS-Program
change VAT registration duties?
For distance sellers who are part of the One-Stop-Shop the obligation for VAT registration in France is not applicable. When using the OSS instead of the threshold there are two major differences. First of all, all sales, including the first one, need to be taxed with the country-specific VAT rates, such as the French one of 20%. On the other hand, all VAT debts are paid directly to the tax authorities in the home country of the business. Those authorities then take care of the redistribution of funds to the countries to which goods were sold.
Attention: This exception to the obligation of VAT registration only applies if the seller is not storing in France. As soon as goods are stored in France, either independently or via a fulfillment provider or program, a French registration for VAT is mandatory again. An additional VAT declaration and the direct payment of VAT to the local authorities are also obligatory.
Example: In case of OSS usage, the German distance seller active in France, Spain and Poland needs to use the French, Spanish, and Polish VAT rates immediately. All VAT amounts are then paid to the German tax office. The seller does not need to register for VAT in France and the other countries.
OSS sounds interesting to you? You need help with OSS registration? No worries! The hellotax team can help you decide between the threshold and the One-Stop-Shop and help you navigate all VAT responsibilities in France.
Contact us today!
Frequently Asked Questions
The standard VAT rate in France is 20% and it applies to goods and services. The reduced rate of 10% applies for example for certain foodstuffs or certain non-alcoholic beverages. The second reduced rate of 5.5% applies e.g. to school canteens or water supplies. There is another reduced rate of 2.1% which is for some newspapers and periodicals or the admission to some cultural events. Intra-community transport (excluding road and inland waterways) is taxed with 0%.
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All businesses registered for VAT in France start with monthly VAT returns. If the VAT liability per annum is under €4,000 quarterly returns can be filed instead.
Monthly and quarterly VAT returns in France must be filed between the 15th and the 24th day of the following month which follows the last tax period.
Example: between the February 15 to 24 for the monthly return for January or April 15 to 24 for the quarterly return of the first quarter.
After all the documents are submitted to the authorities and the registration process is completed, it takes about 15 weeks until you receive your French VAT number. This long waiting time is related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the additional workload for the tax authorities.
To begin the application for you Polish VAT registration number you need to fill in the forms NIP-2 (tax identification number form) and VAT-R (VAT registration form). For EU-entities, a representative is not required. When you filled in and signed the documents, you send them alongside with all further documents required to the tax office of the Second Tax District in Warsaw.
Register in time to avoid problems with the Polish tax authorities or fines. You can make your VAT registration in Poland easier by using our hellotax VAT automation tool. Further, you can automate VAT payments, VAT returns and correspondence with the authorities. Check it out now!
You might also need
VAT registration in Italy
Italy is one of online sellers' favorite countries. We can help you with the tax compliance.
VAT registration in Austria
Joining the Amazon Pan-EU or the Amazon Central Europe Programme? Then you also need to register for VAT in this country.
VAT registration in the Netherlands
A VAT registration in the Netherlands is required when you store goods in warehouses there. This includes Amazon's fulfilment centres.