Tax representative: what is it and how to designate it?

Companies established outside the European Union have certain obligations, particularly with regard to taxes. A tax representative must represent them on French soil and accompany them in all their efforts regarding VAT. Find out what the duties of a tax representative are and how to designate them.

What is a tax representative?

The tax representative works for reporting companies established outside the European Union. It ensures for them all the formalities related to VAT registration in the EU. He takes care of fulfilling all the obligations incumbent upon his client so that he respects the tax legislation.

Obligations of a company outside Europe

A company established outside the European Union must enter transactions subject to VAT. This is one of the European directives that oblige these companies to offer the services of a tax representative. This obligation fulfills a clear objective that of guaranteeing the security of tax administration.

All companies that carry out transactions subject to French VAT must perform the services of a tax representative. It must be established in France. Companies exempt from VAT-only transactions involving goods placed under a customs procedure or tax warehouse are exempted.

What does a tax representative do?

The tax representative must ensure the tax compliance of his client. He verifies the flow of the goods as well as the different invoices. He also files the VAT returns according to the rules in force. The tax representative plays an essential role since he is responsible to the Tax Office.

Among its various missions, the tax representative must:

  • identify his client for tax purposes in order to obtain his VAT number;
  • verify and process all tax documents of the company;
  • declare local VAT by entering and filing all trade declarations (goods and services);
  • manage VAT refund requests;
  • to assist his client in the event of a tax audit;
  • follow tax regulations at the local and European level;
  • be the intermediary between society and local governments.

Tax representative, designation and procedure

The choice of tax representative is free. The company can select its own representative (one and not several). However, the latter must be subject to French VAT and be known by the tax authorities. The seat of its activity must be clearly established in France.

The appointment of the tax representative is made according to a specific procedure. The company must stipulate by mail the name of the person involved. To be valid, the letter must contain a number of elements:

  • the names and addresses of the company and the tax representative;
  • the acceptance by the representative of his appointment by the company;
  • his commitment to accomplish his mission;
  • its date of taking office.
  • The document is sent by the tax representative himself to the tax department on which the company depends. Taxes will then notify him in writing of the acceptance or refusal of his accreditation.

Procedure for the refund of VAT

  • The VAT refund is requested from the tax office. Companies have until the end of the sixth month following the current calendar year to claim it.
  • The request must be made on the printed form provided for this purpose (printed no. 3559), and accompanied by invoices, important documents and all supporting documents. The print is completed in French only.


Hi, I am Malik. I started writing about tech since a decade ago. I am passionate about a wide range of topics including science, technology, finance, health, insurance, entertainment, politics, sports, property, and pretty much everything under the sun! Other than writing, I’ve worked in I.T. across a number of industries, including banking, retail and software.