French VAT Returns

French VAT Returns

Filing Frequency

When you register for VAT in France it is mandatory that you file a VAT return every month before the deadline. You may be able to apply for quarterly or annual filing after the first year if you meet the criteria.

  • Businesses that declare less than €4,000 in VAT the previous year can apply for quarterly declarations
  • Businesses can apply for the seasonal normal real regime when they carry out activity on a seasonal or occasional basis. In this case you only need to file a VAT return when you carry out a transaction that is taxable in France.

Filing Deadlines

Whether your business is required to file Monthly, Quarterly or occasionally the deadline is usually the 19th day of the month following the reporting period when registered directly with the tax authorities.

For Non-EU businesses where a Fiscal Representative is used the deadline is usually extended to the 24th day of the month following the reporting period however this can vary depending on the competent tax office.

VAT Payments

All VAT payment in France are made by direct debit via your online account on impots gouv. Once you have access to your account you can set-up your bank details which must be SEPA enabled which will be used for both payments and refunds. When you submit your return the payment will be taken automatically for the approved account.

It is also possible to make payments via direct bank transfer.

Nil and Corrective Returns

If you have no activity in the filing month then a Nil return still needs to be submitted to the tax authorities. Failure to do this can lead in late filing fees. 

A corrective VAT return is usually required when your VAT position changes. However, some conditions apply depending on the amounts you need to correct. 

  • Additional output VAT requires a corrective return to be submitted, the tax authorities allow for the correction to be made in the current return if the additional VAT owed does not exceed €4,000. If the additional VAT does exceed this amount then a corrective VAT return is always required
  • Excessive input VAT reported in the previous return: It can be corrected in the current period. The amount over-deducted must be entered in line 15 (TVA antérieurement déduite à reverser). A written explanation must be added in the Correspondence box.
  • If additional input VAT needs to be added for invoices found after the reporting period, then these can be simply added to the current return under line 21 (Autre TVA a deduire) of the VAT return.