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Published:August 2, 2021

How to file a VAT refund claim in France

Guidelines for nonresident companies

How to file a VAT refund claim in France

As of 1 July 2021, non-EU businesses claiming a VAT refund from France must file a digital 13th Directive claim. The claim must be accompanied by scanned copies of invoices and other relevant supporting documentation. The VAT reclaim process previously involved submitting physical documents.

French authorities have now issued guidance on how to submit a 13th Directive claim, and when applications need to be filed. 


What is a 13th Directive VAT refund?

The 13th Directive is the mechanism through which non-EU companies are able to reclaim VAT from an EU member country. The 13th Directive is applicable when the company is not registered for VAT in the country from which it is claiming VAT.


Submitting a digital application in France

The French guidance states that relevant taxable persons must submit their VAT refund claim electronically, using their tax representatives secure electronic system. (Contact VAT IT for more information about appointing a tax representative.) In order to facilitate the submission, the tax representative needs to be signed up for the secure system.

The procedure needs to be completed in French and the claimed amount is to be denominated in euros. Refunds are also paid in euros. 


When must you submit the application

A VAT refund application can be submitted for a calendar year or for a quarter. The application can be submitted from the first day of the month following the period for which the refund is being claimed.

If the VAT claimed back is less than €400 then the amount can be carried over to the application for the next quarter (except for in the case of the fourth calendar quarter). 


Supporting documentation

Refund applications must include all information requested, including the relevant VAT identification number, bank details and various other identifying information about the taxable person.  

In addition, specified supporting documentation is required. These include invoices and import documents, the letter of authority, a certificate of the business’s foreing VAT registration (or equivalent) and a document demonstrating the applicant’s bank details. 

In addition, invoices and import documents have to be listed in a summary table.


Ensure maximum reclaim with expert VAT refund assistance

The VAT refund process can be extremely complex and time-consuming. Filing an application involves compiling an exhaustive list of information and supporting material and filing these through the appropriate channels. Erroneous submissions will not be accepted, and may even open the applicant to penalties. 

That’s why companies rely on VAT IT for effective, efficient and accurate VAT reclaim solutions, that maximise your VAT opportunities. 


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