When do I need to register for VAT in France?
1. Storage of goods in France and 2. Exceeding the VAT delivery threshold limit.
Storage of goods in France
The storage of goods in France means you must pay VAT there. This means you need a VAT registration in France.
If you want to store goods as an online seller in other EU member states, you must register for VAT there.
A VAT registration in France is required when you store goods in warehouses in France. This includes also Amazon’s fulfilment centres.
Depending on the FBA programme you might use, be aware that you need to be registered for VAT in each and every country you are storing your goods in.
VAT Threshold Limit
Exceeding the annual delivery threshold limit of €35,000 makes a VAT registration in France necessary.
Reaching the threshold limit in other EU countries means a registration for VAT in these states.
Threshold limits are different in every country. If your sales turnover per calendar year to certain countries exceeds the threshold limit you must pay VAT in the country. In France, the VAT delivery threshold limit is set to €35,000.
Example: An online seller who is registered in Spain sells goods to France. Once he exceeds the threshold limit of €35,000 with sales within one year, he must pay VAT in France and therefore be registered.
Change of VAT regulations as from July 1, 2021
Country-specific delivery thresholds will be abolished as from July 1, 2021.
The new EU-wide delivery threshold will be limited to €10,000 per annum. It concerns all sales within the European Union. Online sellers who reach the new general threshold limit must register for VAT in all member states they sell their goods to.
Storing goods remains a reason to register for VAT.
How to 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. You can further use our great tool to automate all your VAT duties – in France and wherever it is needed.
What documents to you need for a VAT registration in France?
It is necessary to submit extra documents for your VAT registration in France. Required documents can differ from one country to another and might have to be translated into the country’s language. When registering for VAT in France, authorities will require you to submit the following documents:
- 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)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the format of the VAT number in France?
TVA intracommunautaire (ID. TVA)
FR + 11 characters
What are the different VAT rates in France?
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%.
When do I have to file my VAT returns in France?
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.
What are the deadlines for VAT returns in France?
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.
How long does it take to receive my French VAT number?
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.