What is EU VAT? Verification, Reporting, Information

What is EU VAT? Verification, Reporting, Information
Jakub Chajdas

Jakub Chajdas

Partner / Attorney-at-law

EU VAT is a special identification number. It allows entrepreneurs from the European Union to conduct intra-community transactions. In this article, you will find detailed information about the EU VAT. Read more about the process of registering, verification and reporting in the article below.

What is EU VAT?

VAT EU is the European equivalent of the Tax Identification Number. The VAT payer receives it after registration. EU VAT is required when engaging in intra-community transactions. For example in the case of intra-community supply and acquisition of goods.

A Polish entrepreneur must register as an EU VAT payer if he wants to conduct intra-community transactions and benefit from VAT exemption due to not exceeding the amount of 200 000 PLN, if:

  • the sum of the intra-Community acquisition of goods made by him exceeded 50,000 PLN in a given tax year,
  • he wants to provide services that will be settled in the buyer’s country.

EU VAT Registration

Registration for EU VAT is mandatory for entrepreneurs making intra-community transactions. Before the first transaction, the entrepreneur must apply for an  EU VAT number to his tax office. This number is needed for the correct accounting of transactions with trading partners in other EU countries

To obtain an EU VAT number, you need to submit a VAT-R application to the tax office:

  • in paper form,
  • by post,
  • or online.

For entities that already have a tax identification number, it is enough to update the VAT-R form.

Who is Required to Register for EU VAT?

The obligation to register for EU VAT applies to active VAT taxpayers who:

  • make an intra-Community acquisition of goods,
  • purchase services for which the place of supply is the buyer’s registered office,
  • make an intra-Community delivery of goods,
  • provide services to EU partners where the place of supply is determined at the buyer’s place of business.

Verification of EU VAT Number

Entrepreneurs can verify their trading partner’s EU VAT number using the VIES system. The VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) is a tool available online. It allows for the verification of VAT numbers across the European Union. This helps to make sure that the EU VAT number is active and assigned to a specific business.

You can also verify the EU VAT number by checking the invoice or document issued by the EU VAT taxpayer. The tax office can also verify it.

Do you know what VAT Compliance is and what benefits it can bring you as an entrepreneur? Find out more about the service from this article.

How to Use VIES?

Using the VIES search engine is simple:

  1. Visit the VIES website.
  2. Select the country of the VAT number.
  3. Enter the partner’s VAT number.
  4. Check the verification results.

If the VAT number is active, the search engine will confirm its validity and provide basic company details. If the number is incorrect, the system will inform you that such a number is not in the database.


Submitting EU VAT Information

Entrepreneurs conducting intra-community transactions must submit EU VAT declarations. These are summary reports that must be regularly provided to tax authorities. Usually on a quarterly or monthly basis. It depends on the number of transactions. These declarations include detailed data on all transactions carried out with EU partners. They include the value of goods and services acquired and sold.

Information Included in EU VAT Declarations

The EU VAT declaration should include:

  • EU VAT numbers of trading partners,
  • Net transaction values,
  • Transaction dates,
  • Type of transaction performed. For example: Intra-Community acquisition of goods, Intra-Community Delivery of Goods, acquisition/services.

Benefits of Registering for EU VAT

Registration for EU VAT offers many benefits, including:

  • The possibility of applying a 0% VAT rate for intra-community delivery of goods,
  • Simplified tax procedures for intra-community transactions,
  • The possibility to collaborate with a larger number of EU partners.

Problems with EU VAT Registration and Verification

Entrepreneurs sometimes encounter issues with EU VAT number registration or verification. These problems often stem from:

  • Incorrect data entry,
  • Delays in updating the VIES database,
  • Differences in registration procedures between EU countries.

EU VAT – Summary

The EU VAT number is a crucial element for conducting intra-community transactions. Proper registration, verification, and submission of EU VAT information are crucial for business in the EU market. Using the VIES search engine facilitates the verification of trading partners. It also prevents potential tax problems.

Are you interested in learning more about EU VAT? Contact us! Our experts are ready to help you.

FAQ – Questions and Answers about EU VAT

What is EU VAT?

It is an identification number that allows to conduct intra-community transactions within the European Union.

How to register for EU VAT?

You must apply for an EU VAT number at the local tax office. You need to do it before conducting the first intra-community transaction.

Who is required to have an EU VAT number?

Active VAT payers conducting intra-community acquisition and supply of goods. It concerns purchasing services where the place of supply is the buyer’s location. Moreover, it is obligatory for those providing services to EU partners.

What is the VIES search engine?

VIES is a system that allows for the verification of EU VAT numbers across the European Union.

How to check an EU VAT number in VIES?

First, enter the partner’s VAT number on the VIES website. Then, select the country, and check the verification results.

What information does the EU VAT declaration contain?

EU VAT numbers of trading partners, net transaction values, transaction dates, and the type of transaction performed.

How often must EU VAT declarations be submitted?

They must be submitted regularly, usually quarterly or monthly.

What are the benefits of registering for EU VAT?

A possible 0% VAT rate for intracommunity delivery of goods. Another benefit is a simplified tax procedure for intra-community transactions.

What to do if the partner’s EU VAT number is invalid?

Contact the partner to verify the data or check again after some time.

What problems might occur during EU VAT registration?

Problems may arise from incorrect data entry, delays in updating the VIES database, or differences in registration procedures between EU countries.

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