France VAT Guide

Online sellers’ obligations introduced in France.

The VAT responsibility of eCommerce platforms will be implemented in all Member States of the European Union from 1st January 2021, with expected changes to the 6th Directive.

However, in light of the significant VAT gap that is being created through e-commerce platforms, some Member States are planning to introduce safety measures. They are also incorporating eCommerce platform responsibility into their VAT legislation before the new EU rules are fully rolled out in 2021.

Some Member States that have adopted such changes are the United Kingdom and Germany.

France will be one of the EU Member States following suit with a similar change:

  • When the French authorities become aware that a seller utilizing an eCommerce platform is not in compliance with French VAT obligations – the French Tax Office can order the platform provider to ensure that the trader meets their obligations;
  • The changes to joint responsibility of the e-commerce digital platforms will require the marketplace to check the VAT registrations of third party merchants and this will include verifying their VAT numbers;
  • If the seller is still not in compliance with French VAT law, within one month after they are notified, the tax authorities may give notice to the platform provider to exclude the concerned seller from the marketplace;
  • If the platform provider does not remove the trader, within one month of the notice, they will become jointly liable for the VAT payable by the seller and may be sought for payment by the tax authorities.


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