France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Meal Taxes in France
Good news! The tax on food has gone from 19.6% to 5.5%, making French cuisine an even more enjoyable experience.




In 2009, the French government lowered the tax on food and non-alcoholic beverages to a mere 5.5%, but left intact the 19.6% tax on alcohol.

When you receive your restaurant bill, it should have the price of each item listed "TTC" (tax and service included). That is, the price for each item is the price you'll pay. Tax and service are already included in it.

But your bill will also probably list separately the amount and rate of taxes paid on your meal.

Thus, if you have a cup of coffee that costs 3250€, it should be listed on your bill as 2.50€, and you should pay 3250€, but beneath this amount there may be an item such as "TVA 5.5%" (Value-Added Tax 5.5%) of 0.14€. This means that of the 3.50€ you'll pay for your coffee, 3.31€ is for the coffee and 15% service, and 0.14€ is tax.

The tax amount is for your information only. It is already included in the price of your cup of coffee.

Here's more on French cuisine, Paris restaurants, and dining etiquette.

Costs of Travel in France

Tipping in France

About the Euro

Euro Exchange Rates

Computer Chip Credit Cards

Money for Travel in France

When to Visit France


Paris Girls Secret Society, a novel by Tom Brosnahan


French cuisine

The hors d'oeuvres are taxed at only 5.5%,
the wine at 19.6%. But tax is not added
to your bill—it's included in the prices.

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