France has joined the UK and Germany in introducing from 1 January 2020 VAT obligations on marketplaces to help eliminate the VAT GAP and fraud in the e-commerce sector. The requirements will include verifying non-resident VAT registration of their sellers, and continuing reporting transaction data to assess missing VAT. Learn more about French VAT in our country guide.
Tax authority reports will be required by the end of January 2020 for 2019 transactions. The first draft of the requirement expected the marketplace to be able to identify taxable transactions – implying they would know details such as registration thresholds and transactions on the seller’s own website or other platforms. But this has been watered down. Nevertheless, marketplaces are now likely to oblige non-residents below the French distance selling to French VAT register or be blocked from the platform.
From January 2020 platforms and marketplaces will be jointly and severally liable for the payment of VAT in respect of users who have not complied with their VAT obligations, where the French tax authority has issued two formal notices in respect of the user concerned to the platform or marketplace and the platform or marketplace continues to allow the trader to use the platform.
Like the UK rules, France is imposing disclosure obligations on fulfilment warehouses, including monitoring of goods movements.