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June 22, 2021

France: Non-EU VAT refund claims must be filed electronically effective 1 July 2021

Effective 1 July 2021, new rules in France will require businesses established outside the European Union (EU) to electronically file claims for refunds of value-added tax (VAT) incurred in France. Currently, non-EU VAT refund claims are filed by post. These changes apply to refunds made under the Provisions of the EU Thirteenth VAT Directive.1,2 

Detailed discussion

Following Decree No. 2021-507 dated 27 April 2021, businesses established outside the EU that are not registered for VAT in France will now have to electronically file their Thirteenth Directive VAT refund claims. This measure will come into force as of 1 July 2021. Therefore, it will have no impact on VAT refund claims filed for 2020 for which the deadline is 30 June 2021 (i.e., these must still be sent by post).

The e-filing will be done via the operator’s fiscal representative. A listing of invoices/import documents and a copy of documents for which the taxable base exceeds €1,000 (€250 for fuel expenses) will be required. The original invoices/import documents will need to be provided to the French tax authorities within a 30-day period upon express request.


For additional information with respect to this Alert, please contact the following:

Ernst & Young Société d'Avocats, Indirect Tax



  1. EU Council Directive 86/560/EEC.
  2. For more information on recovering VAT in the EU, see EY’s Worldwide VAT, GST and Sales Tax Guide 2021 | EY - Global.

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