VAT identification numbers

Updated on May 30, 2022

What is a VAT identification number?

Taxable persons (businesses) and non-taxable legal entities that are registered for VAT are identified by a unique identifier known as a VAT registration number.

Check whether a VAT number is validSearch for available translations of the preceding link

Check how VAT number is called in national language of each EU countrySearch for available translations of the preceding link

Who needs a VAT number?

A VAT number is required for most enterprises and other people engaged in economic activity (see Article 214 VAT Directive). For more information, see if the previous linkEN••• can be translated.

In the following instances, a business must register for VAT:

the provision of taxable goods or services; the acquisition of goods within the EU; receipt of services for which VAT is due (under Article 196 VAT DirectiveSearch for available translations of the preceding linkEN•••); provision of services for which VAT is due by the customer (under Article 196 VAT DirectiveSearch for available translations of the preceding linkEN•••).)”

Does the same VAT number apply for all EU countries?

No.

There is a national VAT number for each EU country.

If a company sells products or services in many EU nations, it may be required to obtain a VAT number in each one.

For firms that provide telecommunications, broadcasting, and electronic services, a simplified registration (mini One Stop Shop) is offered.

Format of VAT numbers

The first digit of a VAT identification number must be the country code, followed by a sequence of digits or characters that is unique to that nation.

VAT identification numbers are formatted differently in each EU country.

Who issues a VAT number

If a company in a Member State receives an offer to get a valid VAT number in exchange for an upfront payment, the EU Commission is aware of it. Proposals that appear to be from the European Union are clearly marked as such.

A VAT number can only be issued by a tax authority, according to the EU Commission. Check with the tax authorities if you are wary of unsolicited messages about obtaining a VAT number.

The importance of VAT numbers

The customer’s tax status is determined by this method.
Help us locate the place where taxes are levied.
On invoices, it is mentioned (except simplified invoices in certain EU countries)