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French VAT fraud hits €15 billion

  • Dec 2, 2019 | Richard Asquith

The French public auditors, Cour des Comptes, has estimated that French VAT fraud has hit €15 billion per annum.

The auditors have called for the government to step-up fraud detection measures which it believes have slowed in recent years and lacked central coordination. This included the lapsing of the national anti-VAT fraud committee. This has resulted in a halving in the number of successful VAT fraud convictions, and a drop in revenues from investigations from €10.1billion in 2013 to €8.7billion in 2018.

France is to introduce anti-VAT fraud obligations on marketplaces from 2020. This obliges marketplaces to report on sellers’ transactions and VAT liabilities. It has also signed-up to the EU 2021 marketplace deemed supplier rules.

The European Union Commission estimated the French VAT Gap, the difference between forecast and actual VAT receipts, at €12 billion for 2017.

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.

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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: He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2020 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard trained as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.
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