When do you need to VAT register in France?

For certain transactions carried out in France, foreign businesses which are not based in France are liable to VAT :

  • Sales of goods taxable in France
  • Intra-Community acquisitions taxable in France
  • Deliveries subject to the distance selling regime, when sales are made from another Member State to France (if the annual amount, exclusive of taxes, is more than €35,000)
  • Certain services provided in France or for the benefit of customers residing or based in France

For some of these transactions, VAT is no longer paid by the company based outside France but directly by the purchaser of the goods or the user of services when the latter has a VAT ID number in France (reverse charge mechanism).

List of third countries for which no fiscal representative is required

In principle, non-EU taxpayers which have to register for French VAT purposes must appoint a French fiscal representative (as long as they do not have any fixed establishment). However, this obligation does not apply if your company is established in some specific non-EU countries (which have concluded a mutual assistance agreement with France). The list has just been updated (decree of 28 February 2017) and now includes: Australia, Azerbaijan, Albania, Aruba, Curaçao, Faroe Islands, French Polynesia, Georgia, Ghana, Greenland, Iceland, India, Japan, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, New Zealand, Norway, Korea (Rep.), St. Barthélemy, St. Martin, St. Maarten, South Africa, Tunisia and Ukraine (underlined countries are new to the list). Argentina has been taken off.