The Value Added Tax identification number (abbreviated in the UK to “VAT ID number“) is a unique EU-wide identification number of a company or entity for Value Added Tax purposes.
It is used within the European Community for processing intra-community transactions for goods and services for Value Added Tax purposes. It is therefore needed by every trader within the area of the European Union involved in transactions for goods and services between the member states. According to the latest Directive of the EU Council (2010/45/EU), from 1st January 2013 onwards every trader is obliged to quote the valid Value Added Tax identification number of the recipient of the goods or services on the invoice in the case of tax-exempt intra-community supplies.
The European Value Added Tax Identification Number Directory, UST-ID.org, supports traders in the EU with the processing of intra-European payment transactions. Unlike the VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) of the European Commission which only verifies the validity of Value Added Tax numbers, UST-ID.org allows the visitor to the site to request Value Added Tax identification numbers via the search by company/entity names and therefore simplifies intra-European invoicing.
By registering your Value Added Tax identification number you are supporting your EU trading partners and promoting a closer business relationship.
IMPORTANT - only tax authorities are authorised to issue Value Added Tax identification numbers
There are an increasing number of reports that companies/entities in various EU countries have received offers for the issue of a valid Value Added Tax identification number in return for payment in advance. These offers have the appearance of an official EU document.
Only the official tax authority of the relevant EU member state has the right to allocate a Value Added Tax identification number. If you are suspicious of unsolicited notifications relating to the purchase of a Value Added Tax identification number, it is recommended that you contact the relevant tax authority responsible for you.