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French VAT: Olympic & Paralympic Games in Paris 2024

Anticipating Cash Back & Securing Business Operations

On July 26 start the Summer Olympic Games in Paris. Being scheduled until August 11, they will be followed by the Paralympic Games from 08/28 until 09/08.

There can be an important VAT impact for the foreign companies carrying out their business activities in France in frame of Paris games:

➡ paying French VAT on supplier invoices and expenses


➡ falling within the VAT registration’s obligation

In both cases, the VAT paid by foreign companies in France can be recovered under specific conditions.

  1. EU-established foreign companies & organisations which are doing exclusively expenses in France are entitled to claim in front of the French Tax Authorities the refund of the French VAT supported on:
  • Supplier Invoices,
  • Travel Expenses of employees.

2. EU-established foreign companies which are carrying out business operations requiring a French VAT registration:

  • importations,
  • local sales of goods or services towards individuals or non-registered businesses in France,
  • cross-border sales of goods from France,

can deduct the paid VAT amount from the VAT amount collected on local sales, through filing VAT returns in front of the French Tax Office.

3. Non-EU companies which are doing expenses and/or taxable supplies in France must appoint a French Tax Representative:

  • for the French VAT reclaim on purchases
  • for the French VAT registration and onwards VAT deductions in local VAT returns

The last point is optional for the EU-established businesses and for the non-EU countries having a mutual tax assistance agreement with France.

It’s important to check and evaluate the games related economic flows in advance for optimising the VAT recovery and for fiscally securing the upcoming operations in France.

French VAT rules

Depending on the category of goods and services, the French (metropolitan) VAT rates are applicable on the net value of purchases:

  • 20% standard rate for most supplies
  • 10% intermediary rate for passenger transport, hotels, restaurants, admission fees for events, etc.
  • 5,5% reduced rate for food/non-alcoholic drinks, books, entrance fee for cinema & live performances, etc.
  • 2,1% super reduced rate for specific supplies (refundable medicines, press publications, etc.)

The French VAT can be claimed back /deducted on most VAT taxable expenses & purchases:

  • Fuel (80%)
  • Road tolls and parking
  • Accommodation for 3rd party (clients, suppliers, etc.)
  • Restaurant, food & drinks
  • Entrance fees for events
  • All other goods and professional services* purchased for company’s business activity

*except : passenger car rental & repairs, passenger transport, accommodation for employees which are excluded from VAT refund/deduction.

VAT Reclaim for non-registered companies

All foreign companies have to fulfil some conditions for claiming back the French VAT:

  1. Being VAT / Tax registered in their country of establishment
  2. Conducting no VAT taxable operations and having no permanent establishment in France
  3. Having purchased goods /services for their economic non-exempted business activity
  4. Being in possession of original invoices /bills
  5. For non-EU companies : Appointing a Local Tax representative established in France

The minimum amounts for claiming VAT are:

  • 50 € for the annual reclaim
  • 400 € for quarterly submitted reclaims

VAT Reclaim timeline:

The VAT can be claimed back immediately after the last day of the preceding calendar quarter/ year, but at the latest:

  • EU claimants: until September 30th  of the current year for the immediately preceding calendar year’s expenses
  • non-EU claimants:  until June 30th of the current year for the immediately preceding calendar year’s expenses

Organisations entitled for VAT Reclaim

In addition to foreign businesses fulfilling the VAT reclaim conditions, the below organisations are entitled to recover the VAT on Paris games related expenses:

  • International Olympic & Paralympic Committees (IOC / IPC)
  • Entities controlled by the IOC:
  • Television & Marketing Services SA,
  • Olympic Broadcasting Services SA,
  • Olympic Broadcasting Services SL,
  • Olympic Channel Services SA,
  • Olympic Channel Services SL,
  •  Olympic Foundation for Culture and Heritage,
  • National Olympic & Paralympic Committees
  • International Sports & Paralympic Sports Federations
  • Official Timekeeper (OMEGA and its affiliates)
  • Other organisations recognised by the IOC:
  • Court of Arbitration for Sport,
  • World Anti-Doping Agency,
  • International Testing Agency,
  • IOC marketing partners
  • Rights-holding broadcasters

VAT Deductions for VAT registered companies

Foreign companies getting VAT registered in France have to file periodical VAT returns (and further declarations) to the French Tax Office for being VAT Compliant.

They are declaring in this way:

  • the realised operations
  • the VAT collected from clients
  • the VAT deductible on incurred expenses

The excess of the deductible VAT is refundable by the French Tax Office, the excess of the collected VAT is payable by the registered company towards the French Tax Office.

Our VAT support

BtoBnice will be happy to act as your French tax agent / representative for the VAT recovery and VAT registration purposes.

Book a non-binding Teams meeting with our expert under this link : booking

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