French 13th Directive refund claims to be submitted electronically

Going forward, all refund claims submitted by non-EU businesses that are not registered in France must be submitted electronically.

31 May, 2021


Non-EU businesses must submit a 13th Directive refund claim electronically when VAT has been incurred in France and no registration is required.

Following the changes introduced by Decree 2021-507, where a business that is not established in the EU incurs French VAT and does not have an obligation to register for VAT in France, this VAT must be claimed by an application form submitted electronically to the French tax authorities. Before these changes, 13th Directive refund claims had to be submitted on paper , with all accompanying documents duly printed and attached to the paper application form.

These rules are applicable as from 1 July 2021.

What are 13th Directive VAT refund claims?

A 13th Directive refund application is the scheme used by non-EU businesses to recover VAT in the European Union. It is only applicable when the applicant does not have an obligation to register for VAT in the country where VAT was incurred.

Non-EU businesses incurring French VAT in France and having full right to deduct VAT have two options to recover VAT : Either via a VAT registration when they make taxable activities in France or via a 13th Directive refund claim when they do not make taxable activities in France.

Each EU country has different rules on 13th Directive refund claims. Some EU countries may require reciprocity, so that VAT is only refundable when a similar tax is refundable for local businesses in the country of the applicant. Also a fiscal representative may be required in certain jurisdictions. We recommend contacting one of our experts if you are a non-EU business who needs to recover VAT in any EU country.

How do you submit a French 13th Directive VAT refund claim?

These are some of the rules to be considered when submitting a 13th Directive refund claim in France:

  • A fiscal representative must be appointed. This is a local business who acts on your behalf towards French tax authorities. Marosa can act as your fiscal representative in France via our local entity Marosa France.
  • Applications must be submitted before 30 June of the following year
  • Not all VAT incurred is deductible in France. There are deduction limits to be considered.
  • All invoices must be added to the application form, together with a list summarizing the details of each invoice.
  • A proxy must be signed in order to appoint a fiscal representative.

Our French VAT country manual includes detailed and practical information about VAT compliance rules in France. 

Get help with French VAT refunds

Our dedicated team of VAT experts will assist you recovering French VAT. We are experienced with historic VAT refunds , VAT regularizations and advice on how to correct invoices if needed.

We will designate Marosa France as your fiscal representative to submit your VAT refund claim in France. We will coordinate the application with your finance team and submit a complete VAT refund request according to French VAT rules. Our team will follow up with the French tax authorities until your VAT is effectively transferred to your bank account.

Get in touch

Our VAT team will assess the steps required to recover French VAT and design an action plan to effectively recover all outsanding amounts from French tax authorities. 

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