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French new VAT software obligations Jan 2018

  • May 25, 2017 | Richard Asquith

French new VAT software obligations Jan 2018

France has introduced anti-VAT fraud software requirements which are to be implemented from January 2018.  This includes using certified, secure software for recording all customer payments – including cash registers.

VAT registered businesses selling B2B and B2C will need to track cash, cheque, credit and transfer payments.  The requirements apply to bought-in software and in-house developed platforms.

Certification can be provided by any accredited software house, including a bespoke certificate from the provider certifying compliance with the French tax authorities' data security and retention obligations.  Such a certificate should confirm the requirements of the French tax office.  To date, this is providing some varying responses from software houses which are not yet fully prepared with their solutions. No in-house development certification process has been detailed so far.

Failure to comply with the rules may result in fines of up to €7,500 per software or cash register unit.  This will present the largest financial risks to major retailers or groups of companies using the same software platforms.

VAT software requirements

Basic software requirements include:

  • The tax authorities must be able to access individual transaction data
  • Data must be stored online or in a method approved by the tax authorities
  • The process and access around the integrity of the data must be clearly demonstrated and applied
  • Cash registers should provide daily and monthly closes
  • Accounting software should have at least annual closes

Need a fiscal representative in France?

Non-EU businesses selling in France will need to appoint a fiscal representative alongside completing VAT registration and returns.
Fiscal representatives are responsible for the accurate VAT submissions of their non-EU clients.
Avalara offers a Fiscal Representative Service as part of its international VAT and GST Registration and Returns Service.

Need help with your French VAT compliance?


Researching French VAT legislation is the first step to understanding your VAT compliance needs. Avalara has a range of solutions that can help your business depending on where and how you trade. 

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VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He can be contacted at: richard.asquith@avalara.com. He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2019 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard qualified as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.