The French Constitutional Council has ruled that France may no longer levy a disproportionate fine for missed VAT invoices. The current (Art. 1737, I, 3. of the CGI) French tax code allows for a 50% fine based on the VAT due on the invoice.
The Counsel has now ordered this to be changed to 5% if the supplier produces a valid VAT invoice after any notice within thirty days. The new rules will come into place from 1 January 2021. But the legislator should intervene between now and then to ensure any fines are proportionate.
French taxpayers must prepare invoices for most taxable transactions – they are not expected for retail transactions unless requested by the customer. They are also not needed under the One-Stop-Shop OSS distance selling regime. Simplified invoices may be offered on transactions not exceeding €150.