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ENG- LIFESTYLE- Travel in France – part 2 , Prices and Taxes

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Tipping or not tipping, mosquitoes, pickpockets, where to find toilets, here a few questions tourists wonder when they go to France for the first time.  Here are a few advice from your local  humble servant.

Pricing,  taxes, how does it work in France ?

 TTC-pricingGovoyages Travel Agency edited this advert to advertise their fares are all tax inclusive.

Pricing

By law, all pricing in France included VAT , these are called  » TTC » prices. Only B2B vendors are allowed to present HT prices ( means VAT not included).

The main difference between a HT price and a TTC price is the VAT ( TVA in French) . In case you are not aware, the French invented the TVA after French Revolution, this is a French invention that spread worldwide like the Metric system, another French legacy to the world !

Geographical  exceptions

In overseas territories such as Corsica or Reunion Island, the French Carribean, etc, there can be different VAT rates. Basically the VAT rate is 20% except for basic supplies such as food. In restaurants, the VAT rate is 10%.

Some professions are exonerated of VAT, it is the case for insurance, medical professionals, schools and training centers or teachers. As a result, their HT and TTC price will be the same.

Products exceptions

Some products will bear additional taxes, such as alcohols, tobacco, gasoline. But consumers pricing will always be all inclusive.

You may however enquire for air plane tickets as administrative fees and  airport taxes may be added to the price initially displayed , do ask the travel agent or check the terms and conditions or rubics  to avoid any misunderstanding.

Some show tickets vendors may add a small  amount for e- ticketing as well or administrative fees (  » frais de location » )  as well .

In hotels, you will be required to pay a « stay tax » or  » taxe de sejour » ( small amount). This is the equivalent of what French people pay as local tax ( to support local public services) . The hotelier is supposed to make you pay upon arrival , unless you already paid it through your e booker. It’s a smal amount per person and per night.

Remember that whatever the situation, the vendor is always required to inform clearly about any additional costs not mentioned in the price displayed. If not , the price is considered all inclusive of all taxes.

prix-boulangerie

Imagine the croissant is displayed at 1.00 but the baker asks for 1.20 and says it’s a price tag mistake. Will you accept to pay 1.20 ? I wont.

 The price tag is different from the price invoiced : what to do ?

In France, the tradition is that the vendor should let the consumer pay the price tag amount if it is lower than the catalog price.

For instance, you are in a supermarket and select a product with price A. At the cashier’s, you discover the invoiced price B is higher than the price tag. You are perfectly entitled to  demand paying the price A . However if Price A is obviously too low to be a market price, the vendor is entitled to cancel the deal.

In case of disagreement, you can threaten them to log a claim with the DGCCRF ( @dgccrf) , the government organisation in charge of inspecting and fining the reluctant vendors.

You may tweet or email the local DGCCRF Bureau on this page.

Stay tuned for Part 3. To be continued.

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