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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 21 June 2012

European Commission calls on France to limit the reduced VAT rate to domestic care services

The European Commission has officially asked France to ensure that certain "personal services" should be subjected to the normal VAT rate because they do not, in its view, constitute domestic care services as laid down in European Union law. The request takes the form of a reasoned opinion, which is the second stage of an infringement procedure. If the rules are not brought into compliance within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union.


European Union legislation allows Member States to apply a reduced rate of VAT to domestic care services such as home help and care of the young, elderly, sick or disabled.

France applies a reduced VAT rate to "personal services", a much broader category which covers, for instance, gardening, home lessons (different from school support), computer and internet assistance at home, maintenance services, and maintenance and temporary guarding of main and secondary residences. This rate also applies to the services of intermediaries operating in the sector.

The Commission considers that applying a reduced VAT rate to these services is not compatible with European Union law.

Moreover, in France, the Conseil des prélèvements obligatoires (in 2010) and the Comité d'évaluation des dépenses fiscales et des niches sociales (in 2011) suggested partially closing this tax loophole for personal services.

For press releases on infringement proceedings in the areas of taxation and customs see:

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/12/464

For the most up-to-date general information on infringement proceedings initiated against Member States, see:

Contacts :

Emer Traynor (+32 2 292 15 48)

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