Tax Law in France

We provide support for all essential questions of French tax law. We can provide consulting services in German, French or English.

Our partner Euro-Droit (, a company we founded more than 25 years ago with competent employees who speak fluent German, can manage the payroll administration of your employees in France, the preparation of business management analyses of your French branch office, the complete administration of your branch office or subsidiary in France, the application for a VAT number, the preparation of French VAT returns as well as customs declarations (summary declaration - DEB) and the execution of secondment formalities to France for employees from Germany, Austria or Switzerland.

We provide practical, focused advice on the following tax issues in France.

Tax Law Services in France:

  • Advice on VAT issues; assistance with requests for binding written information from the French tax administration (rescrit fiscal); assistance with the input tax refund procedure in France
  • Expert assistance with retrospective VAT returns in France (on your own initiative or as part of a tax audit), particularly in the event of the thresholds being exceeded in the mail-order business; application for waiver of penalties.
  • Consulting on all issues relating to French company taxation for German, Austrian and Swiss companies and their subsidiaries or branches in France (in particular corporate income tax, consolidated tax group and consolidation as well as French trade tax (Contribution Economique Territoriale - CET)
  • Analysis of the tax aspects of the activities of German, Austrian and Swiss companies in France, in particular with regard to the double taxation agreement for France/Germany, France/Austria and France/Switzerland (e.g: risk assessment regarding the existence of a permanent establishment for tax purposes in France) and tax optimisation
  • Review of the tax aspects of contracts concluded with French partners; transfer prices between companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and their French subsidiaries and branches in France
  • Tax & financial due diligence for corporate acquisitions in France, in cooperation with cooperation partners, if appropriate: Tax consultancy and auditing firms in France with the necessary expertise in the relevant areas of French accounting law or auditing
  • Tax optimisation and consulting on corporate acquisitions in France and restructuring of branches and subsidiaries in France.
  • Taxation of individuals in France and international labour mobility, tax optimisation and assistance tax returns (including withholding tax (retenue à la source), payroll tax deduction (prélèvement à la source) and annual income tax returns)
  • Expert guidance on tax returns for income from rental of real estate located in France or dividends and interest from a French source
  • Representation of German, Austrian and Swiss companies and foreign taxpayers in connection with company audits or tax audits in France and in connection with legal tax proceedings
  • Consulting on tax law issues in connection with real estate investments (VEFA (sale in future state of completion), sale and lease back transactions), transactions (acquisition or sale of real estate located in France) and structuring of real estate projects in France
  • Consulting on tax law issues in connection with international inheritance cases and international asset transfers and gifts; assistance with tax returns in France

Did you know that in France….

  • the French tax authorities take a very formalistic approach to tax audits of companies established in France? This entails checking the existing documentation in particular. The material analysis of financial details is less intensive in France than in Germany. This means that reliable documentation is essential in the field of transfer pricing between the parent companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and their French subsidiaries, and that all contractual agreements must be set out in detail in writing.
  • in the case of a potential permanent establishment (établissement stable) in France, the particular circumstances must be organised and the documentation drawn up in such a way as to avoid a permanent establishment if necessary? This may entail drawing up employment contracts with French employees or agency contracts with commercial agents working in France, or setting up a warehouse in France or carrying out construction work on a building site in France.
  • the cost plus method of allocating profits to the French subsidiary is only of limited application?
  • the goodwill (fonds de commerce) of a company subject to corporation tax in France cannot be amortised?
  • the tax authorities offer taxpayers the possibility of avoiding the risk of their pricing policy being questioned at international level between associated companies (transfer pricing)? To safeguard your transfer pricing policy, you also have the option of obtaining prior binding information from the French tax administration to establish your transfer prices. This procedure is free and fast and all information is treated confidentially.
  • in principle, dividends distributed by a French company to a parent company in another EU country are exempt from withholding tax provided that certain conditions are met (in particular as regards the duration and amount of the participation)?
  • if there is a tax audit, the accounting documents must be presented by submitting a copy of your accounting file (Fichier des ecritures comptables - FEC) in dematerialised form? Your accounting records must therefore be kept in accordance with the French accounting rules (Plan comptable général) in French.
  • the VAT rules on distance selling (Vente à distance) also apply to post-sale deliveries from a German or Austrian company subject to VAT to a private individual in France? These transactions are subject to VAT in France when the threshold of €35,000 is met for deliveries from the German or Austrian company to French customers. Consequently, the German or Austrian company must immediately identify itself for VAT purposes in France, invoice the French VAT and submit VAT returns in France. These e-commerce operations are subject to very strict controls by the French tax authorities.

Our German-French Team for Tax Law in France

Manuella Boivineau