Many European countries including France have adopted the system of vat or value added tax to tax goods and services, and if you plan to start a business in that country then knowing all about french vat can help you run your business efficiently. Even if you have other offices in different EU countries, learning all about vat in France can help you file vat returns and apply for vat refunds well within the prescribed time limit.
France has several specific vat rules in case you want to do business in that country without forming a local company. You can get vat registration and a vat number in France as a foreign company. Vat in France is known as TVA or Taxe sur la Valeur Ajoutee and is managed by the Direction Generale Des Douanes Et Droits Indirect. If you apply as a foreign company then there is no vat threshold or limit that needs to be achieved before receiving your vat number.
If you have another office in another eu country such as the UK, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Greece, Poland, or any other country that follows vat then you can now import goods from France while also claiming back any vat that might have already been paid in France. However, before you rush in to fill up the vat form and apply for a vat reclaim, it is vital that you have thorough knowledge on uk vat, eu vat and even french vat so that you do not end up on the wrong side of any vat laws in any country.
You can employ the services of a knowledgeable vat agent or consultant that knows all about vat rules in countries that do business with your own. You can alternatively hire French agents to handle all your vat issues in France including filing of vat returns and claiming vat refunds. If you want to avoid paying vat in France in the first place then you can also submit your local country vat no while purchasing products or utilizing services. In case you have been charged TVA or French vat then you will need to apply for vat reclaim after fulfilling all documentary requirements including showing the vat certificate of your own country in France.
However, it is vital that you get vat registered in your own country before you try for a vat refund in France. The standard vat rate in France is 19.6% while the reduced vat rates are 5.5% and 2.1% depending on the classification of goods and services in France. There are also certain goods and services that are vat exempt and knowing the correct vat rate should help you to save money for your business in the very first place. While most of Europe now uses a common currency, i.e. the Euro, UK and a few other countries in the eu still trade in their own currency, although you will receive your vat refund in France only in Euros.
If you plan to start importing goods from France or utilize services in that country then you can easily get your own vat number in France by registering as a foreign company. You will need to file regular vat returns but in return will also be able to reclaim vat that might have been paid in France. Knowing all about french vat can help you run your business efficiently and reduce your costs that otherwise would have increased due to multiple taxation.