FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS/VAT - What is a tax representative?/


What is a tax representative?

The tax representative is an intermediary between the French State and foreign companies.

When a foreign company decides to settle in France in order to carry out transactions subject to payment of French VAT, it must hire a tax representative that will represent them at the tax authorities. This is not the case for companies established in the European Union or in certain other countries (please refer to our page “When and how should I appoint a tax representative in France?” to see the list of countries for which the appointment of a tax representative is not useful).

The tax representative is mandated by the foreign company, when the law requires to do so.

The tax representative can be anyone who has a permanent establishment in France and is himself subject to payment of French VAT. He has to be approved by the French tax authorities.

Some of the main obligations foreign companies entrust to tax representatives are the following:

  • Ensure that invoices expressly indicate the company's contact information
  • Keep an accounting of operations carried out in France
  • Submit turnover declarations
  • Complete the applications for VAT refunds and pay the VAT due in France
  • Subscribe to every relevant administrative declaration

Failure to appoint a tax representative may have negative consequences for the business and reputation of the foreign company, as the foreign company's customer will then be liable for the payment of French VAT as well as penalties incurred.

alf assists you in registering your company with French VAT. To discover our offer, please visit our page dedicated to your VAT paperwork.

Read more:

What conditions do you have to comply with when appointing a tax representative?

Why resort to a tax agent?

The various french VAT rates applicable to goods and services

A clear introduction to VAT