According to the article 289 A of the French General Tax Code, a foreign company that carries out transactions subjected to VAT in France must, in several cases, appoint a tax representative established in France, to carry out the administrative formalities for the company.
However, from several non-European countries, companies can set up in France without having recourse to a tax representative. A list including these countries exists. It was modified on March 25th, 2017 and includes 13 new countries.
Here is the complete list of non-European countries that don’t need to have a tax representative in France:
|South Africa||Faroe Islands||New-Zealand|
|Australia||Iceland||Republic of korea|
FOR OTHER COUNTRIES, WHY A TAX REPRESENTATIVE ?
When a company outside the European Union decides to locate in France to carry out transactions subjected to VAT (companies which carry out transactions with suspension of duties and taxes do not have this obligation), it must make a use of a representative which has full responsibility for VAT on all transactions carried out by the foreign company established in the European country.
Among the important missions of this Tax representative; we find the VAT management. First step for this representative, its to register the foreign company with the tax authorities of France to obtain an intra-Community VAT number, which allows the foreign company to declare the taxable operations.
OBLIGATIONS OF A TAX REPRESENTATIVE
Legally, the tax representative is linked to the foreign company by a mandate. He is responsible for compliance with accounting and tax obligations relating to VAT for transactions carried out in France by the foreign company. If the tax representative does not fulfill his obligations or if the foreign company does not designate one, it is the French customer who will be liable for the VAT and the penalties that concern it.
So if a foreign company that has the obligation to have a tax representative, does not designate one, it will have consequences on its reputation and its commercial policy.
NOMINATION OF A TAX REPRESENTATIVE
The foreign company has the right to choose its tax representative subject to VAT in France, that should be in a good fiscal morality. The foreign company must designate only one tax representative for all its operations in France.
In order to secure the operations and to make the mandatory declarations as efficiently as possible, foreign companies request the assistance of a tax representative.