VAT registration & filing of VAT returns for a foreign company
When and how to appoint a fiscal representative in France?
Do you need to register for VAT in France? Do you need to appoint a fiscal representative? Are you liable for French VAT? We detail on this page many information allowing you to know the procedures of registration, the functioning of a fiscal representation and much more. Enjoy your reading
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When to Use the Services of a Tax Representative in France
When a foreign company subject to VAT carries out operations subject to VAT in France, it is obliged, in certain cases, to appoint a tax representative or fiscal agent in charge of carrying out on its behalf all the declarative formalities required.
To know if the operations you carry out on the French territory are subject to VAT, you must inform yourself directly on the website of the French tax authorities: bofip.impots.gouv.fr or with tax firms such as ours.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of operations subject to VAT in France:
Which companies are concerned by the appointment of a fiscal representative in France?
Only companies established outside the European Union are obliged to appoint a tax representative in France if they carry out operations that make them liable for VAT on French territory (Article 289 A of the General Tax Code). However, these companies are not required to appoint a tax representative if they only carry out operations under suspension of VAT on goods placed or intended to be placed under a customs procedure or a tax warehouse.
The appointment of a tax representative is compulsory for all companies established outside the European Union, except those established in third countries that have concluded an agreement on assistance in the recovery of tax claims with France.
The countries concerned are the following: Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iceland, India, Mexico, Moldova, Norway, Republic of Korea, Saint Barthelemy, United Kingdom.
Taxable companies established in a European Union Member State which carry out transactions subject to VAT in France are exempt from appointing a tax representative. However, they are still required to identify themselves for French VAT purposes at the:
Service des impôts des entreprises étrangères, 10 rue du Centre, 93465 Noisy-Le-Grand Cedex, tel : 01 57 33 85 00, and submit their declarative obligations.
How to appoint a fiscal representative in France?
The fiscal representative must be a French company subject to VAT, be in good fiscal standing and have its headquarters in France. Moreover, in order to make sure that the fiscal representative is in good standing, the tax authorities control them more regularly.
Procedure for appointing a representative :
In order to appoint a fiscal representative, the foreign company must put down a written mandate of representation. This mandate, signed by a person with the authority to bind the company (legal representative), must include the following information:
This mandate must be transmitted to the French tax authorities. The same applies to companies established within the European Union that appoint a tax representative. The company may appoint only one tax representative or tax agent for all the operations it carries out in France. However, if the company has obligations in another EU country, it can use a different provider. The rule is: one representative per country!
What are the obligations of the fiscal representative?
The fiscal representative represents the foreign company to the French tax authorities. He is responsible for the compliance of his client with the declarative aspects and the payment of the VAT. In case of fraud or failure to comply with an obligation, the fiscal representative is jointly responsible and will have to pay the tax and any penalties. The representative is responsible for all operations carried out in France, including those of which he has no knowledge.
The representative must :
The fiscal representative also handles the VAT refund applications
In some cases, the foreign company does not have to identify itself for French VAT purposes because the operations carried out do not make it liable for VAT in France. If this is the case and if the company has incurred French VAT, it is entitled to file a VAT refund application. In order to file this claim, the foreign company must appoint a French tax representative subject to VAT in France in charge of carrying out the procedures on its behalf.
To learn more about VAT refund applications and deduction rights, you can visit our “VAT recovery” page or contact our sales department.
If you would like to learn more about our tax representation service, please contact our team for a free consultation.
Hundreds of companies choose Eurofiscalis to help them in their development in Europe. Listen to the testimonial of our client PING, we help them to manage their intra-community VAT
“The service Eurofiscalis provide us, give me the confidence and trust that we have a compliance process to Europe for our VAT and customs…”
Hundreds of you have asked us questions about how VAT works. We do our best to answer them. Below are the most frequently asked questions.
YES! Any company established outside the European Union which undertakes taxable operations in one of the Member States is obliged to appoint a tax representative. The tax representative is in charge of respecting all the tax obligations of the represented company.
The representative engages his responsibility towards the authorities of the country and automatically becomes co-responsible in case of fraud or delay or failure to comply with tax obligations.
Tax representative is the term used when the representative represents a company established outside the European Union.
Fiscal agent is the term used when the representative represents a company established within the European Union.
The time required to obtain a VAT number varies according to the country. However, in general, it takes about 4 weeks! For more information, do not hesitate to contact us via our contact form.
Some operations make the company liable for tax in the country where the operation is performed. Each country applies different rules for VAT liability. It is mandatory to analyze the operation in order to define the resulting obligations. However, the following is a non-exhaustive list of operations that could potentially make a transaction taxable:
- Import and/or export,
- Purchase – Resale,
- Provision of service on an immovable property,
- Exceeding the CA threshold.
No ! This is the main advantage of using the services of a tax representative or agent. Registering your company in another Member State does not mean creating a permanent establishment.
By engaging in taxable operations in one country, you are liable for VAT only. In other words, only the VAT obligations have to be fulfilled. For everything that concerns corporate tax, accounting… that remains in your country of origin.
The corporate tax, your accounting… are attached to your company in the country of origin. The corporate tax, your accounting… are linked to your home country company. It is important to understand that registering your company for VAT in another Member State does not mean creating a company. As a result, you are only liable for the obligations related to VAT (filing of VAT return, equivalent to the CA3 in France, payment of the collected VAT to the local tax authorities…).
Yes ! A company can have a VAT number in each Member State of the European Union. It is common for a company operating regularly in different EU countries to have several VAT numbers. Moreover, some countries assign 2 VAT numbers, a local VAT number and an intra-Community VAT number.
The European Commission has set up a website allowing to check in real time the validity of an intra-community VAT number. You just have to indicate the VAT number and the country of attribution on their website by clicking on this link : https://ec.europa.eu
The cost varies according to the complexity of the operations, the country concerned and the fiscal stamps or registration fees applied in the concerned State. In general, the cost of a registration varies from 500 to 1000 € depending on the case.
Why use our Service to be your tax representative / tax agent?
Eurofiscalis is an international tax company specialising in tax representation. Our experts (statutory auditors, accountants, lawyers) speak 3 languages and will take care of all tax obligations on behalf of your company. European tax law and related aspects are a critical issue in a company’s development on the international arena, which is why we establish long-term relations based on trust.
Analysis of your flows and compliance with VAT, intrastat, invoices, customs
Processing and submission of your VAT registration
Getting your local and EORI numbers
Simplified customer/supplier bookkeeping
Filing of your periodic VAT and Intrastat returns
Single point of contact with local authorities
Countries where we offer the service of fiscal representative
Use our firm to manage your VAT obligations in Europe
Use our service and outsource the management of your VAT returns in Europe