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 ?
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 !
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.
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.
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.
You may tweet or email the local DGCCRF Bureau on this page.
Stay tuned for Part 3. To be continued.