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French VAT rates

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French VAT rates

The European Commission has announced plans to end a transitional period that lasted 24 years. The current intra-Community VAT rules were introduced in 1992 as a provisional regime. However, these rules remained unchanged due to, among other reasons, different VAT rates in each Member State. The Commission has now published and ambitious plan to introduce a final EU VAT regime. 

Value Added Tax in local language is ´Taxe sur la valeur adjoute´. The French VAT rates are as follows:

  • Standard rate: 20%
  • Reduced rates: 10%, 5.5% and 2.1%

France has opted for the reduced and super-reduced VAT rates on a number of items allowed by the VAT Directive. The French super-reduced rate is the lowest in the EU (source: European Commission):

 Item

 VAT rate

 Foodstuff

 20%, 10% or 5.5% depending on the item.

 Water supplies

 5.5%

 Pharmaceutical products 

 5.5%, 10% and 20%*

 Medical equipment for disabled persons

 5.5%

 Children´s car seats

 20%

 Passenger transport

 10%

 Books

 5.5% and 20% (standard rated only if violent or  pornographic content)

 Books on other physical means of support

 5.5% and 20% (standard rated only if  advertising or pornographic content)

 Newspapers

 20%*

 Periodicals

 20%*

 Admission to cultural services (theater, etc)

 5.5% and 20%

 Admission to amusement parks

 10% and 20%

 Pay TV / cable

 10%

 TV licenses

 2.1%

 Writers / composers

 5.5%

 Hotel Accommodation

 10%

 Restaurant and catering services

 10%

 Restaurants  

 10%

 Admission to sporting events

 5.5%

 Medical and dental care

 0%

 Shoes and leather goods

 20%

 Clothing and household linen

 20%

 Hairdressing

 20%

* France also introduced a super-reduced rate of 2.1% on the following items: certain pharmaceutical products; certain newspapers and periodicals; TV licenses; and admission to certain cultural events.