Input VAT should be claimed in a VAT return filed no later than the end of the second year following the year during which the deductible VAT was due.
Regarding the obligation to pay VAT, the same general rule applies. The French tax authorities con investigate VAT liabilities up to the end of third year following the year in which VAT became due. There is an extended period of 10 years in case of fraud or ´hidden activity´.
There is more information available (in French) here. This information is published by the French tax authorities.