How high are VAT rates in France?

French VAT rates

France has the reputation of having high taxes on everything. But does that stand for VAT rates? In France, they are as follows:

VAT rates in France
Rate designation Type of product
20% Standard All other taxable goods and services.
10% Reduced Food, passenger transport, waste collection, etc.
5.5% Reduced Food, Canteens, water supplies, etc.
2.1% Reduced Pharmaceutical products, newspapers, public television fees, etc.
0% Zero Intra-community and international transport (excluding road and inland waterways).

For European standards, those are actually somewhat low. European directives did make efforts to have countries make their VAT rates more uniform, but out of all EU countries, only 4 have a standard rate lower than 20%. It’s often for them to go as high as 22% – 25%, even reaching 27% in Hungary.
Similar observations can be made for the reduced rate, where many countries only have one reduced rate that can go up to 15%. And a country like Denmark doesn’t even have a reduced rate at all.

As such, VAT rates in France are surprisingly low!