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Structure of European Union VAT-ID (value added tax identification number)

A value added tax identification number or VAT identification number (VATIN) is an identifier used in many countries, including the countries of the European Union, for value added tax purposes.

In the EU, a VAT identification number can be verified online at the EU's official VIES website, it confirms that the number is currently allocated and can provide the name or other identifying details of the entity to whom the identifier has been allocated.

The full identifier starts with an ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code (except for Greece which uses the non-standard country code EL) and then has between 2 and 12 characters. The identifiers are composed of numeric digits in most countries, but in some countries they may contain letters.

Foreign companies that trade with non-enterprises in the EU may have a VATIN starting with "EU" instead of a country code.

What, Who and for which purpose

What:
Given that the internal borders within the EU have been lifted on 1 January 1993 and that thereby the import turnover taxes have ceased, the value added tax identification number (VAT-ID) ha

Who:
Every entrepreneur participating in trades of goods and services within the territory of the European Union, needs a value added tax identification number (VAT-ID).

For which purpose:
Owners of a VAT-ID have the possibility to deliver tax free to other EU Member States, provided that the trading partner has also a valid VAT-ID. When exporting into another country of the EU and on presentation of the VAT-ID, no value added tax will be charged (tax free intra-Community supply of goods); in exchange, the commercial recipient pays the taxation of purchases in the destination country due to the value added tax rate of the country of destination. As a result of this country of destination's principle, the taxation is shifted to the recipient‘s country.

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VAT-ID validation

Information on the legally required VAT-ID (value added tax identification number) in Europe (EBN)

VAT-ID
validation

For verification of the validity of a VAT-ID number you will be forwarded automatically.