Maurice Lauré, Deputy Director of the French Tax Authority, implemented VAT in France on 10 April 1954. Locally it is called Taxe sur la valeur ajoutée (TVA), the standard rate being 20%, although there are reduced rates of 10%, 5.5% and 2.1%.

VAT deduction in France for EU member countries

Businesses not established or registered for VAT in France will be able to claim a refund of French input VAT to the same extent as businesses registered for VAT.

The procedure for claiming the refund varies according to the country in which the company is established:


Those companies established in any other country of the European Union may request the refund of French input VAT in accordance with the terms of European Council Directive 2008/9/EC, which states that

  • The deadline for electronic submission of the refund request is 30 September of the calendar year following the refund period.
  • The minimum claim period is three months and the maximum period is one year, for amounts of 400 and 50 euros respectively.


Companies established in countries outside the European Union may apply for a refund of French VAT under the terms of the 13th European Directive. In this case the deadline for submissions is 30 June of the year following the calendar year in which the tax is incurred.

Deductible expenses: Receipts

A taxable person may recover input tax on purchases of goods and services supplied in France for commercial purposes, and a valid supporting tax invoice is required.

Examples of expenditure for which VAT is fully or partially recoverable in France

  • Catering and entertainment expenses in restaurants for employees and customers
  • Accommodation for customers
  • Attendance at conferences, exhibitions and training seminars
  • Motorway tolls
  • Liquid petroleum gas (LPG)
  • Purchase, lease and maintenance of cargo vehicles
  • Diesel fuel (up to 80%)
  • Advertising

However, there are other cases of expenditure where input VAT is not recoverable in France:

  • Accommodation for employees
  • Petrol
  • Passenger transport
  • Purchase, lease and maintenance of cars
  • Business gifts valued at more than EUR 69, including VAT, per person per year

In France, in particular, invoices for a total amount without tax of less than or equal to EUR 150 may meet the requirements of a “Receipt”. It is not necessary, for example, to detail the customer’s tax information.

VAT deduction in France is possible for businesses not established or registered for VAT to the same extent as businesses registered for VAT.