France confirms non-EU countries not requiring a VAT fiscal representative

Mon 25th Nov 2013

In January 2013, the French VAT authorities indicated that French VAT registered companies from certain non-EU countries would no longer have to appoint a fiscal representative.  It has recently increased the list of countries participating in this initiative.

Eliminating French VAT fiscal representative requirement

France still requires non-EU companies to appoint a VAT fiscal representative if they are registered for French VAT as a non-resident trader.  This should be a tax resident in France, who becomes responsible for all reporting and tax filings.  In case of a default, the tax authorities may hold the representative financially responsible for any losses.

List of French tax mutual assistance countries grows

In the 2012 Finance Bill, France introduced an exemption to the above fiscal representative obligation.  If a company came from one of a short list of countries with which France had signed a tax mutual assistance agreement, then the obligation would be dropped.  These type of agreements give France and the other countries the right to use each other’s tax authorities to help recover missing tax or VAT payments.  They are used extensively within the EU which is why most countries do not require the appointment of a fiscal representative for companies from other EU member states.

The list of participating non-EU countries is now in the French scheme are: Argentina; Australia; Azerbaijan; Georgia; Iceland; Mexico; Moldavia; Norway; and Korea.