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TaxRobin, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
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Experience:  International tax
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I have received a registered letter from I believe the French

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I have received a registered letter from I believe the French VAT office ... Only in French ... I think saying that we need to pay VAT in France on any sales made on Amazon over the last few years .. We are completely up to date with VAT and have collected and paid this VAT in the UK.
The letter is asking to meet us in France later this month. We have no presence in France at all. No office, staff, stock, or company. Not sure what to do. Any suggestions ?
Thanks for your help.
Hello and thank you for allowing me to assist you.
As you know the VAT and changes in recent years have only served to complicate the subject further.
Sometimes you are required to register in the other EU country.
For distance sales, you must charge VAT at UK rates in the normal way. However, each country has a distance selling threshold. If the value of your sales to that country exceeds this limit, you must register for VAT in that country, and charge their rate of VAT on sales to that country.
Distance selling means that a supplier sells goods to private individuals or customers established in another Member State who do not apply VAT to their intra-Community acquisitions of goods. The supplier takes care of the transport of the goods to the customers. A typical example is mail order companies and now online selling.
I would suggest you speak with your own accountant and make them aware of the notice you received.
They will be able to possibly address this for you and not require your presence in France.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Robin,

That's OK and I got to the point you reccommend, Asking our accountants, and I now understand 'distance sales' but they are not French speaking (shouldn't the French provide something in English)

Also if they think there is any VAT owing in France, but has already been paid in the UK, do I have to get that money back from HMRC and pay it to the French ? .. and how far back does this go ?Can they levy penalties on this ? ... it is very confusing.

I await your reply .. thank you.

yes it can be confusing and if your accountant requests the information could be in English.
You would most likely not be penalized. UK VAT must usually be charged at the rate applicable to a normal sale in the UK.
They may require you register for TVA (la taxe sur la valeur ajoutée), and then charge TVA instead of UK VAT, if your sales of goods to customers in France who are not registered for TVA are over €100,000 in a calendar year.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Robin,

Thanks for your help with this, but you really haven't told me much more than I knew. I was hoping for a moe definitive answer, not a broad brush. but will take your suggestion of asking them to respond in English.

I'll close now.

I sincerely ***** ***** I could have been a specific about your situation as you wanted.
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