FRANCE VAT REFUND
According to French Tax Laws (Article 259 A), Non-EU residents are entitled to get the benefits for a refund of the Value Added Tax (VAT, or détaxe TVA in French) for taking any service or goods or performing any activities on French territory. Currently, TVA rate of most goods is 19.6% in France, but tax refund rate is normally 12%.15 for regular goods, up to 33% for luxury goods.
In order to qualify for Detaxe the following requirements should be accomplished:
- ♦ One has to incurr a minimum of 175€ (about $215) in the same store on the same day on goods and services.
- ♦ One must be over 15 years old and live outside the EU
- ♦ You must be visiting the EU for less than six months.
VAT is refundable for the following expenses:
- ♦ Trade fairs, space booking, hostess services, translators,
- ♦ Restaurants bills, foods and beverages
- ♦ Petrol (80 % of the VAT is refundable)
- ♦ Conference rooms and hiring of video equipment
- ♦ All kind of furniture for business activities
- ♦ Participation fees
- ♦ Commercial cars and vans rental
- ♦ Carpeting
- ♦ Services such as advertising
- ♦ Electricity
- ♦ Telephone
- ♦ Catering
- ♦ Flowers and decoration
- ♦ Transport of merchandise
- ♦ Security and cleaning of the stands
Vat is not reclaimable on the following expenses:-
- ♦ Personal hotel accommodation
- ♦ Transport (taxi, car hire, fuel etc)
- ♦ Tourism car renting
- ♦ Airlines and trains tickets
- ♦ Tobacco products
- ♦ Postage stamps
- ♦ Weapon
- ♦ Cultural treasures
- ♦ Consumer vehicles
If you are coming from a country of EC you can directly reclaim the VAT refund to Direction des résidents à l'étranger et des services généraux.
If you are coming from another country, you have to use a fiscal representative in France to take the steps.
In Paris, in France, customers make payment for their shopping at the price of TTC - Toutes Taxes Comprises where the tax is included in the price. In most shops, price tags indicating price TTC. People pay nothing more than the value of the price tags.
But in some shops, mainly those shops facing to companies, there exists two prices in a price tag: Price Hors Taxes and price TTC. Hors Taxes are excluded from tax. Value Added Tax - VAT, or in French TVA, must be added to the price Hors Taxes. With value added tax, it is price TTC. For companies, TVA of purchase are refunded or deducted by the government.
Visit a store and confirm that it is participating in the tax free scheme to refund your tax. Aall major department stores, brand-name boutiques and most luxury shops offer the refund. Look for the Tax-Free sticker on the door of smaller boutiques.
- ♦ Spend at least €175 within one store on the same day.
- ♦ The shop assistant will issue a special form known as Retail Export Form ("bordereau de détaxe") that you need to keep with your receipt. The form should be duly signed up by you. The shop assistant will examine receipts and your purchases and then get the form stamped at the time of leaving the store.
- ♦ If you are leaving the European Union from a French port of entry you should submit the Retail Export Form as well as the goods purchased at the airport customs desk. After reviewing everything Customs will keep a copy of the form and you will be handed back a copy, endorsed by Customs, which are required to retain in case of any possible dispute with the store. Do not forget to keep the goods with you at all times when you apply for Customs endorsement of the Retail Export Form at the point of departure from the European Union. Customs agents want to see them.
- ♦ Upon arrival in your country mail the form back to the French store within three months of purchase to get the reimbursement by credit card or check.
- ♦ You should receive, within a reasonable spell of time, the amount of refunded tax directly from the store, paid according to your instructions, given on the Retail Export Form (check mailed to your address, bank transfer to your checking account or to your credit card account, etc?. If you don't receive your tax refund, you have to contact the store and not the French Customs.The refund by the Tax Administration could take between 30 and 90 days.
- ♦ The monthly VAT refund is limited to a maximum of Sales exported x VAT normal Rate (i.e. Sales Exported x 19.6%). The VAT exceeding this monthly limit could be refunded every 3 months following the procedure described above.
If you don’t get time to get your form filled out while leaving France, you should maintain the following procedures to claim the refund.
You must send a request for a tax refund within 6 months of your purchase to:
The French Customs Attaché
Embassy of France
4101 Reservoir Road NW
WASHINGTON D. C 20007
With this request, you should attach:
- ♦ A copy of your passport
- ♦ A copy of your travel ticket or your boarding pass
- ♦ An "attestation de présentation des marchandises" issued by a French Consulate. In order to get this document you have to go to the Consulate with the your purchases, your passport and your plane ticket OR have the US Customs or Canadian Customs declaration you made for the purchases when you re-entered the country.
- ♦ A letter with lots of good excuses as to why you didn’t get your form stamped when you left France.
- ♦ The Retail Export Form
Your application will then be forwarded to ‘the competent authority’ in France. Upon approval of your application an endorsed "customer" copy of the Retail Export Form will be delivered to you via mail. The Customs Department will mail the other copy to the store, which will refund you the VAT.