The French Hotel and Restaurant Sector - A VAT Conundrum

15 Aug 2017

This summer season is surely the perfect time to spare a thought for all the holiday makers who fall in love with the beauty of the French country side while staying in a charming gite, B & B or even a small hotel in a château.

During those moments it seems like a perfect idea to imagine running one yourself. And every year we do see foreigners arrive who try their luck in the French restaurant and hotel industry.

What often starts as a dream can soon turn into a nightmare as the rules around VAT are complex to say the least:

Some establishments are exempt while others aren’t. You will have to deal with rates at 20, 10, 5.5 and even 0% depending on what you sell. Some products and services even require calculations as they combine a mix of different rates. A meal deal including a set menu and wine will require a calculation as alcohol attracts a different rate from food. You also have to be careful and distinguish between the types of seafood platter you are selling as the rate can vary depending on what is on the platter. And to complicate things even further, the rates in Corsica are different from the ones in mainland France mentioned above. And in certain French overseas departments like Guadeloupe, Martinique and la Réunion you will have to apply a third set of rates.

But do not give up on your dream of running that charming country house hotel. Instead contact Bettina Cassegrain (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Stéphane Sintes (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) at French member firm COGEP for some valuable insights before you get started.












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For more information

Bettina Cassegrain Bettina Cassegrain

Head of International Business Development

Phone: +33 (0) 248681485

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