My accountant has a contact in Germany who’s currently working on the SEPA B2B issue and might be able to offer a solution to small businesses, but the solution isn’t available just yet. As soon as I have any info I’ll post it
I am a seller from Poland. I pay VAT in France from mid-2018. I had the same problem with the Sepa Direct B2B payment. I could not find a bank in Poland that offers this service for small businesses. I decided to pay by normal transfers from my EUR account. I accepted the fact that I would have to pay a penalty of 60 EUR for each monthly VAT transfer to France. After paying the first tax, the company that deals with the accounting service for us, came with a letter about charging a fine for non-payment of tax on time. The company wrote on our behalf an explanation, that the transfer order with the tax amount was sent 3 days before the date which falls in France on the 19th day of each month. We attached a scan of the confirmation of the transfer to the letter. After a few days we received a decision to withdraw the penalty. Since then, we have been constantly paying tax to France using the same normal transfer from our EUR account. So far, there have been no further letters in this matter, which does not mean that they will not appear. Perhaps the French tax office gave us peace of mind precisely, because the sellers from Poland operate in a different currency and are not in the common EURO zone, but that’s just my guess.
I also face the same problem.
Did anybody find a solution for the UK?
Same issue here
I have tried every bank now. No way to pay french VAT that i can find in the UK.
Please someone - tell me I am wrong.
You can pay by a regular Euro transfer but may receive a penalty. French authorities appear not to be enforcing the penalty for not paying by SEPA B2B direct debit in some cases, as mentioned above.
Starling Bank offer a Euro account with SEPA direct debits, you can also do them from the GBP account.
Yes - but is this a B2B SEPA Direct Debit? That is what the french VAT office require. B2B is the difference.
I was looking at this https://stripe.com/gb/pricing and saw words like “SEPA Direct Debit
1% + 20p · £5 cap”, not sure if this works?
SEPA B2B direct debit is quite specialist in a lot of EU countries and where SEPA Direct Debit is advertised it’s usually the consumer one.
As mentioned above:
Also Polish MEPs recently queried this here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-006238_EN.html
And received a response: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-006238-ASW_EN.html
did you get anywhere with this? I am in the UK, selling on Amazon PanEU FBA and have come across
the same hurdle. just today i received a phone call from my Barclays manager saying there was a direct debit request from the French authority but they cannot approve this as there is a £2m floor to who can use this service.
i have learnt a lot from the exchange here, but a few questions:
- has anyone tried Santander?
- is the problem only with the French VAT? what about the other countries, Italy, Germany, Spain,ech etc? h ow are you dealing with those? do they not require SEPA B2B DD?
- also, must we set up direct debit for France and other countries? Can we not pay using SEPA transfer manually each month when VAT is due?
France does accept other payment methods for VAT, but can issue a fine for not using SEPA B2B direct debit. They appear not to be issuing those fines in many cases.
We pay all of ours by standard bank transfer. We were concerned that we may be fined by the French authorities but as yet, have not been.
I have today received a penalty from France of €60 due to paying the August VAT by a non SEPA method.
I am now very worried about all the preceding months when I also used a non-SEPA method for payment.
I would be interested to hear whether others have been sent a similar penalty recently.
Also whether anyone has yet found a bank account that solves this problem?
I wonder whether the French are legally able to insist on this, if it is impossible for small businesses to comply?
Is that because the payment method wasn’t SEPA at all or because it wasn’t SEPA B2B DD? If it’s because it wasn’t SEPA it might be worth getting a Euro bank account that can support SEPA transfers, even if it doesn’t support SEPA B2B DD.
Yes, it is currently deemed legal by the EU Commission, but a court could challenge the amount of the penalty or the penalty itself due to the limited availability of accounts offering SEPA B2B DD in some countries. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-006238-ASW_EN.html
When you make a non-SEPA payment, the recipient is often charged a significant international bank transfer fee, so I can imagine the penalty is there to cover it.
I am having exactly the same issue and I keep receiving penalties which I am appealing to, no response from French Tax office to my appeals. I have researched UK and Poland (our main business is in UK and we have a branch in Poland) both countries banks can’t offer SEPA direct debits for us (or they have restrictions like Barclays) I understand there is certain fee for French tax office for processing our manual transfers however this should not be as much as 60EUR… I am seriously considering hiring a lawyer or a company that specialise in cases dealing with tax office in France as they should not force us to do something that is not possible for us (smaller businesses) technically we have no options available so we could comply and certainly French Tax office makes money on it as addition profit.
Has anyone tried to appeal to French tax office?
Or using assistance from any services that specialise in such appeals? looks like a massive issue for everyone especially that very soon it will be compulsory for every business to register if using FBA in France
I’m aware accounts that can handle SEPA B2B Direct Debits are quite rare in some EU countries, and often have high turnover requirements (e.g. €2m pa). My understanding is that France say they require a SEPA B2B Direct Debit, but are currently only fining non-SEPA payments. This means a SEPA Credit Transfer currently does not receive a penalty. Have you looked into that as an (interim) option?
It might be worth asking an MEP to raise a question about the level of the fines. If the EU Commission think they’re potentially excessive that might assist with your appeals, without you involving lawyers or going to court.
Maybe try Ebury
They give us a good exchange rate in any world currency and we pay on line in GBP
and then deposit it to our bank account that they set up. and we use this to pay many of our suppliers.
BarryM thank you for your response
What do you mean by MEP? I just do not know this shortcut