Definition of VAT ID in English Part II

Structure of the sales tax ID

The sales tax ID is always structured according to the same model. It always begins with a prefix , which consists of two capital letters, which consists of the EU country code. This code is usually formed from the two-digit country code , also known as the ISO-3166-Alpha-2 country code, of the country in which the company is also legally registered. This country code, DE for Germany, is followed by a numerical series, which can contain up to a maximum of 12 characters .

Their validity is ensured by check digit procedures or in other countries by other error detection procedures . Especially for Germany this means: The sales tax ID starts with DE, in Austria the first two letters would be AT. Within the EU there is no information on the format of the number, which is binding. But there is a table that everyone can use for orientation.

Sales tax ID numbers of different countries

So that you can quickly assign a VAT ID to a country, we have provided you with a list of countries and their VAT ID numbers below. compiled:

country Code (prefix + sample numbers)
Belgium BE0999999999 or BE9999999999
Bulgaria BG999999999 or BG9999999999 (DE)
Denmark DK99999999
Germany DE999999999
Estonia EE999999999
Finland FI99999999
France FRXX999999999
Greece EL999999999
Ireland IE9S99999L or IE9999999LI
Italy IT99999999999
Croatia HR99999999999
Latvia LV99999999999
Lithuania LT999999999 or LT999999999999 (DE)
Luxembourg LU99999999
Malta MT99999999
Netherlands NL999999999999
Austria ATU99999999
Poland PL9999999999
Portugal PT999999999
Romania RO999999999
Sweden SE999999999999
Slovakia SK9999999999
Slovenia SI99999999
Spain ESX9999999X
Czech Republic CZ99999999 or CZ999999999 or CZ9999999999 (DE)
Hungary HU99999999
United Kingdom GB999999999 or GB999999999999 or GBGD999 or GBHA999 (DE)
Cyprus CY99999999L

Who needs a VAT ID?

As an entrepreneur who carries out a delivery in Germany or abroad and thus provides a service, you need a VAT ID. But in which cases do you NOT need one ?

  • Are you only domestically as freelancers , self-employed or entrepreneurs engaged and referring or erbringst only there your performance, you can do without a sales tax ID.
  • This also applies in the event that you send your goods to other EU countries, but these are only addressed to private individuals .
  • As a small business owner, you are exempt from the obligation to use your sales tax ID . The prerequisite here, however, is that you make use of the small business regulation .

In general, it can be said that you always have to use the sales tax ID bindingly when exchanging goods or services with a business customer within the EU. You can find everything you need to know in detail in sections § 4 UStG and § 6 UStG .

Several sales tax IDs for one company

There are also cases where a company has multiple VAT IDs . This is the case, for example, if you as a German entrepreneur have a branch or a permanent establishment in another country within the EU . From there you will also generate sales with other business partners in the European market. In this case, the sales tax ID is issued by the state in which the permanent establishment or branch is located.

European identification number

The European identification numbers are sales tax identification numbers , which consequently begin with EU. They are not given to entrepreneurs whose headquarters are in the European Union. Such a European identification number is only used for trade between European non-companies and companies outside the EU .

Apply for VAT ID

A VAT ID can be applied for directly from the responsible tax office when starting a new company . To do this, a corresponding field must be ticked in the tax registration questionnaire . New founders submit this questionnaire to their tax office.

Application to the Federal Central Tax Office

The application goes to the Federal Central Tax Office together with the information about the purposes of the sales tax . In Germany, a sales tax ID is issued to entrepreneurs in the sense of sales tax free of charge upon request .

Anyone who has previously acted as a small business owner needs a so-called special signal from their responsible tax office before submitting an application to the Federal Central Office . All legal bases can be found in § 27a of the UStG . In Austria, the sales tax identification number is assigned automatically if entrepreneurs provide services and deliveries there and have a right to input tax deduction.

A written application must be sent to the following address:
Federal Central Tax Office
headquarters 66738 Saarlouis Fax: + 49- (0) 228-406-3801

The assigned VAT ID is always sent to the company by post in all cases .

Apply for a sales tax identification number online

The VAT ID can also be requested online on the website of the Federal Central Tax Office . The appropriate forms for the online application are available here.

Apply for VAT ID: Duration

The duration of the allocation of the VAT ID depends entirely on when the application for this number was made. This means that you apply for it before you set up, or only afterwards. When starting a new company, you have to expect a waiting period of around two months before an allocation is made. However, if your company is an existing one, it can be done very quickly. In this case, you can expect the VAT ID to be issued after a period of three to five days .

Tax ID 2