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What is the difference between tax agent and tax representative?

The tax representative and the tax agent have the same mission in terms of VAT, which is taking care on behalf of their client of all the formalities and reporting obligations. The main difference between the two lies in their mode of action and the extent of their responsibility.

What is a tax agent?

A tax agent is appointed by a company established within the EU to manage its VAT reporting obligations in another Member State in which it is not established.

As part of his missions, the tax agent is responsible for obtaining a VAT number, declaring VAT and intrastat on behalf of his client. The tax agent must also ensure compliance with the deadlines for the payment of taxes due by the company that mandated him.

Calling on a tax agent provides many advantages to the company that has requested it. Since in the European Economic Area, the management of taxation related to VAT varies from one country to another. As the VAT rates change according to the countries, the languages ​​which are different, the techniques of application of the exemption also differ according to the country.

What is a tax representative?

A tax representative also takes care of all the management of VAT reporting obligations for a company established outside the European Union. He acts in his own name, and this is why he is personally committed to the tax administration and must be accredited beforehand.

In the follow-up of his missions, the tax representative must:

 Present to the tax authorities all the operations supporting documents of the company he represents;

 Present the company’s books of accounts to the tax authorities;

 Declare the turnover of the company represented.

Why appoint a tax representative?

The tax representative must be established in the country in which the company must carry out its taxable activities. The tax representative must be accredited with the tax service of the country in order to act legally.

Under what circumstances a company doing business in France must appoint a tax representative?

It should be noted that companies with a French tax assistance agreement (according to the decree of May 15, 2013 setting the list of countries* that are not members of the European Union with which France has a legal on mutual assistance having a scope similar to that provided for by Council Directive 2010/24/EU of March 16, 2010 and by Council Regulation No. 904/2010 of October 7) must not appoint a tax representative .

Companies established in member countries of the European Union or the European Economic Area are to be excluded.

According to Article 289 A of the General Tax Code, companies established outside the EU must appoint a tax representative in France if they have declarative operations in France; or if they are liable for VAT there.

Note that the appointment of a tax representative is a legal obligation for all foreign companies, not established in France and in the European economic area.

As an accredited tax representative in France and in several EU countries, Eurotax offers you its tax representation / mandate service in the EU.

For more information, you can contact us or visit our page. 

* In its version in force on February 27, 2021: South Africa, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Aruba, Australia, South Africa, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cape Verde, Curaçao, Dominica, Ecuador, Georgia, Ghana , Grenada, Greenland, Cook Islands, Faroe Islands, India, Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, North Macedonia, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Nauru, Niue, Norway, New Zealand, Pakistan, French Polynesia, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Saint Barthelemy, Saint-Martin, Sint Maarten, Tunisia, Ukraine, Vanuatu.

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