French VAT Recovery

The intricacies of French VAT recovery present a labyrinthine challenge that companies, both within and outside the European Union, must skillfully navigate. Various types of VAT can be reclaimed, but each follows its own unique set of directives and submission deadlines. Non-EU businesses face the additional hurdle of appointing a fiscal representative, a critical yet often misunderstood requirement.

Further complicating matters, the labyrinth is constantly shifting as French VAT legislation evolves, necessitating not only compliance but also ongoing awareness and understanding. This article aims to shed light on these complexities, offering guidance on how to streamline the VAT recovery process and ensure accurate and efficient operations.

Stay with us to learn more about how professional assistance, such as that offered by Avalara, can help your business to navigate this challenging landscape.

Key Takeaways

  • EU companies can reclaim French VAT through the EU 8 Directive VAT system, by submitting applications through their own national tax authority’s online portal.
  • The deadline for VAT recovery submissions for EU companies is 30 September of the year following the invoice date.
  • Non-EU companies can use the 13 VAT Directive for VAT recovery in France, but a tax reciprocity agreement between France and their home territory is required.
  • Non-EU companies must appoint a fiscal representative in France for accurate VAT submissions, alongside VAT registration and returns.


In understanding French VAT Recovery, two prime components come to the fore – the key aspects of VAT Recovery and the guidelines governing the process.

The first element provides a comprehensive insight into the fundamental facets of reclaiming VAT in France, encapsulating the requisites for both EU and non-EU companies.

The guidelines, on the other hand, elucidate the procedural aspects, deadlines, and compliance requirements to ensure a successful recovery.

Key Aspects of VAT Recovery

Navigating the complexities of VAT recovery in France, companies, whether from EU or non-EU territories, must adhere to specific directives and deadlines, while also understanding the types of VAT that can be reclaimed, as this greatly affects their financial operations.

Eligibility for VAT refunds depends on the company’s location and the nature of its transactions.

Refunds are administered by the French Customs office.

A VAT refund form must be submitted by specific deadlines.

The VAT recovery process varies for EU and non-EU businesses.

VAT Recovery Guidelines

Guided by specific directives and deadlines, companies both within the EU and outside can reclaim French VAT. This process requires careful attention to detail, comprehensive understanding of which types of VAT are recoverable, and adherence to French VAT compliance standards.

When completing the customs export, French Customs will stamp the necessary documents. The proof consists of either a VAT refund or a business activity verification by customs authorities in the EU Member State.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Reclaim French Vat?

Yes, both EU and non-EU companies can reclaim French VAT. EU companies use the EU 8 Directive VAT system, while non-EU companies use the 13 VAT Directive. A tax reciprocity agreement is required for non-EU companies.

How Do I Get a 20% VAT Refund in France?

To receive a 20% VAT refund in France, foreign companies must submit a VAT recovery application, including necessary original invoices and tax certificates, via their national tax authority’s portal or directly to French tax authorities.

Can You Recover Foreign Vat?

Yes, foreign VAT can be recovered. Both EU and non-EU companies can reclaim VAT incurred in different countries. The process varies, typically involving submission of applications through respective national tax authorities or directly to the foreign country.

How Much VAT Will I Get Back in France?

The exact amount of VAT refund in France varies. It depends on the nature of your expenses and whether they’re VAT-deductible. The standard VAT rate in France is 20%, but certain items have reduced rates.


In conclusion, understanding and complying with French VAT regulations is crucial for businesses operating within France. This involves knowledge of different VAT types, recovery processes, and compliance deadlines.

Non-EU businesses should also understand the role of a fiscal representative. Utilising professional assistance, such as Avalara, can simplify this complex process, ensuring accuracy and efficiency.

This comprehensive guide serves as a valuable resource for businesses seeking to navigate the intricacies of VAT recovery in France.

Barry Caldwell

Barry Caldwell

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