VAT rate: 20%
Reduced rates: 10%, 5.5% and 2.1%
As a founding member of the European Union, France has defined its VAT rules as per regulations set out by the EU. All the countries in the EU are required to impose a VAT, with a minimum threshold of 15%. While each EU country has its own VAT rate, it doesn't matter where you are located; it only matters where your customers are. Thus, if you have customers in France, you must charge the French VAT rate.
According to the Tax Foundation, France imposes a VAT, or Taxe Sur la Valeur ajoutée in French, of 20%. This is slightly below the EU's average of 21%.
As freelancers and solopreneurs in France, you might be required to register for VAT, and while dealing with taxes can be overwhelming, we're here to help you through the process.
Few regions, like French Guiana and Mayotte, don't impose VAT. Others charge the following rates:
Working as a freelancer has its benefits; however, those don't include a tax exemption. Luckily, if you set up a micro-enterprise for your freelance work in France, you can enjoy the simplified taxation benefits. A micro-entrepreneur (or self-entrepreneur) is someone who has created an individual company and has opted for the micro-enterprise tax system. It can save you a lot of extra paperwork, and this status allows you to work in France as a freelancer for as long as you want. You can even use your personal banking account instead of a professional one.
The best benefit of setting up a micro-enterprise is being exempted from paying VAT as long as your turnover is below a certain threshold.
Disadvantages of the micro-enterprise scheme include:
There are other ways of working as a freelancer in France that do not have revenue caps, but those schemes are not VAT exempt and require more management time and fees. Regardless of whether you operate under the micro-enterprise system, Xolo can help you register as a freelancer in France and handle all the necessary paperwork on your behalf. With Xolo Go, you use our company as a legal framework to invoice your clients whether they're across town or across an ocean.
When to register for VAT in France
EU VAT returns are due quarterly. At the end of each quarter, you have 20 days to file and pay whatever you owe
If your business is eligible to be registered for VAT in France, you need to make a note of the following things:
If you have crossed off all items in the checklist above, you can register for VAT. You can do this through the Mini One-Stop Shop (MOSS) registration. The Mini One-Stop Shop is an EU-wide tax system that allows you to consolidate all of your EU VAT in one single tax return. This scheme is optional but especially useful if you have customers in multiple countries, including France, within the EU. MOSS allows you to avoid registering in each member State of consumption. To learn more, click here.
An alternate method is to register for VAT with the help of an agent: you can hire an accountant (or agency) to handle your VAT returns and dealings with the tax office. Xolo provides services like Xolo Go and Xolo Leap, which help with precisely this and any other VAT concerns you may have.
It can take around four weeks for your VAT to be registered.
'With registrations comes responsibilities.' Okay, this might not be an actual quote, but it is true nonetheless. After you have successfully registered for the VAT, it's time to follow through with the rest of your obligations. Here are some of the things that you should be aware of:
Tax registration process can be tricky at times, but we hope this guide has helped clear your doubts! If you’re still confused about the different schemes and numbers and paperwork, Xolo offers a range of solutions that handles all the hassle while you focus on your core competencies.
With Xolo Go, you can easily freelance and invoice your clients, even without a registered company or LLC.
Simply put, we do the hefty work for you so that you can enjoy the freedom of freelancing. So connect with us immediately, and we’ll help you get your one-person business up and running in France in no time!