Taxation and Customs Union

Updated on June 28, 2022

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What is a VAT identification number?

Taxable and non-taxable legal entities both have a VAT registration number, which is also known as their VAT registration number.

Check whether a VAT number is valid

Check how VAT number is called in national language of each EU country

Who needs a VAT number?

A VAT number is required by most enterprises (and those who engage in economic activity) (see Article 214 VAT Directive for full details).

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

when it sells goods or services subject to VAT; when it acquires items within the European Union;

Format of VAT numbers

There must be a country code followed by a block of digits or characters before any VAT identification number may begin.

Each EU country uses its own format of VAT identification number.

Who issues a VAT number

Proposals claiming to supply a VAT number for an advance payment from companies in different EU Member States have been reported to the EU Commission. These ideas have the look and feel of something issued by the European Union.

A VAT number can only be issued by a tax authority, according to the EU Commission. If you get any unsolicited messages about obtaining a VAT number, you should contact the relevant tax authority to double-check their authenticity.

The importance of VAT numbers

Used to determine a customer’s tax status.
Assist in locating the taxing jurisdiction
On invoices, it is mentioned (except simplified invoices in certain EU countries)
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