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VAT registration number

General Information

German text alteredtranslation in progress
 

Where an entrepreneur enters into a business relationship with entrepreneurs in other EU countries, they must use the "Value Added Tax registration number" (VAT registration number).

The VAT registration number only applies to businesses. By providing the VAT registration number, purchasers are reporting that they are able to purchase tax-free as an entrepreneur and are procuring an ‘other service’ for the business. Both intra-Community purchases of goods and cross-border services are in this case generally liable for taxes, in accordance with provisions governing the service provision location for VAT purposes, in the state in which the purchaser operates their business. In addition to the VAT registration number, the business partner should also always specify the company details (clearly on the VAT registration placement notice or on each communication with the competent VAT tax offices).

If a private person purchases goods in another member state, no VAT registration number is needed. They also do not have to show this if their business has a VAT registration number, but the goods are purchased for private purposes. The same regularly applies to the use of services.

Where an entrepreneur carries out deliveries to an entrepreneur in another Member State, the purchaser must link their VAT registration number to their company details (name and address) and provide these. This documents the fact that the purchaser is purchasing the goods for their company and that the entrepreneur can make the delivery of goods exempt from tax in Austria – provided the additional requirements for tax-free intra-Community delivery are met.

Where an entrepreneur provides other services to a foreign entrepreneur, this latter entrepreneur must give their VAT registration number as the recipient of the service, in order to ensure that they are receiving this service on behalf of their company. In principle, the entrepreneur’s services are then subject to VAT in the place where the recipient operates their company (section 3a, paragraph 6 UStG).

Any changes to the name, company name or address must be communicated to the competent tax office. Should the conditions which resulted in the assignment of the VAT registration number no longer apply, notice of this must be given within one month. In addition, for invoices over 10 000 Euro, the VAT registration number of the domestic recipient of the service must be stated, where this person is in receipt of the service on behalf of their company (third line of section 11, paragraph 1 UStG).

In order to check the validity of a VAT registration number provided by a business partner or their entrepreneurial status, an EU-wide VAT registration number confirmation procedure is available (see Additional Information).

In the case of intra-Community deliveries and for services where the tax liability is transferred to a recipient of a service based in an EU Community territory (article 196 of the VAT Directive), the entrepreneur must submit a Recapitulative Statement (RS) to the competent tax office (→ BMF)German text either via FinanzOnline (income/declarations) or using Form U13, by the end of the calendar month following each calendar month (reporting period). If the entrepreneur’s reporting period is the calendar quarter, submission must take place by the end of the calendar month following each calendar quarter.

Where a foreign customer does not possess a VAT registration number, the delivery of goods/services is, in principle, subject to Austrian VAT.

Additional Information

In order for entrepreneurs to be able to check the validity of the VAT registration number of an EU business partner, the "VAT registration confirmation procedure" was introduced throughout the European Union. Every entrepreneur is obliged to perform the VAT registration number search using FinanzOnline. When submitting a confirmation request using FinanzOnline, the response is communicated electronically. The searching party prints the document themselves. The printed confirmation serves as proof and must be retained pursuant to section 132 of the Bundesabgabenordnung (Austrian Federal Fiscal Code).

There is also the option of performing an electronic self-enquiry via the EU Server (→ EC).

Only in cases where this is infeasible due to a lack of the necessary technology (e.g. no internet access) can confirmation requests be directed towards the entrepreneur’s competent tax office (→ BMF)German text.

Legal Basis

Expert Information

To Form

Translated by the European Commission
last update: 7 May 2020

responsible for content: Federal Ministry of Finance

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