VAT Identification Number

General Information

The VAT Identification (UID) Number is an individual identification number for companies that are registered for VAT. Every company receives only one Austrian VAT Identification Number, even if it has multiple establishments or performs multiple activities.

The VAT Identification Number only applies to businesses. When a company references their VAT Identification Number, this indicates that they are receiving services as a company (and not as a consumer) and also provides information on where their company operates. Both intra-Community purchases of goods and cross-border services are generally liable for taxation in the state in which the purchaser operates their business. In addition to the VAT Identification Number, the business partner should always specify their company details. These should be clearly indicated on the VAT registration notice or on each communication with the competent VAT office. It is not necessary to indicate a VAT Identification Number when goods or services are purchased privately or for private purposes. An EU-wide VAT Identification Number verification procedure is available that can be used to check the validity of the VAT Identification Number provided by a business partner. In addition, for invoices over Euro 10,000 the VAT Identification Number of the recipient of the service must be stated whenever this person is in receipt of the service on behalf of their company (Section 11, paragraph 1, third indent of the Umsatzsteuergesetz).

Caution

Numbers with the prefix "EU", "IM" or "IN" are not VAT ID numbers. These are identification numbers that are necessary for the application of the eVAT (prefix "EU") or IOSS (prefix "IM" or "IN"). These numbers cannot be queried in the VAT identification confirmation procedure.

Sales with a foreign dimension

The VAT Identification Number is particularly relevant when a company enters into a business relationship with companies in other EU Member States. Where a company carries out deliveries to a company in another Member State, the purchaser must provide their VAT Identification Number and their company details (name and address). This documents the fact that the purchaser is purchasing the goods for their company and that the company can make the delivery of goods without incurring tax in Austria, provided that the additional requirements for tax-free intra-Community supply are met.

In the case of intra-Community supplies of goods and cross-border services where the tax debt is transferred under the reverse charge system (Article 196 of the Umsatzsteuerrichtlinie), the company also requires the VAT Identification Number for the purpose of submitting their recapitulative statement.

Issue of a VAT Identification Number

Companies that deliver goods or provide other services in Austria which entitle them to deduct input tax and companies that carry out intra-Community purchases in Austria will automatically be assigned an Austrian VAT Identification Number. If a VAT Identification Number is not issued automatically, an application can be submitted to the Austrian tax office. It is usually only possible for a VAT Identification Number to be issued to companies and legal persons (even if they are non-traders). Companies that only export tax-free goods that do not entitle them to input tax deduction (e.g. SMEs) as well as farmers and foresters subject to flat-rate taxation are only entitled to be issued a VAT Identification Number where this is necessary in order for them to pursue business relationships with companies in other EU Member States.

Where the VAT Identification Number has not been issued automatically by the tax office (in the case of the forms to be filled out for public limited companies/limited liability companies (Procedure 15), companies (Procedure 16), and natural persons (Procedure 24), it must be requested upon issue of the tax number), this must be applied for using the form "VAT Identification Number – Application for issue – U15".

Any changes to the registered person's name, company name or address must be communicated to the tax office. Should the conditions which resulted in the assignment of the VAT Identification Number no longer apply, notice of this must be given within one month.

Further information

The VAT ID confirmation procedure was introduced throughout the European Union to allow traders to check the validity of the VAT Identification Numbers of their EU business partners. Every trader is obliged to perform a VAT Identification 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 (BAO).

The searching party can also perform an electronic enquiry themselves 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 trader’s competent tax office (→ BMF)German text.

Special VAT Identification Number for carriers

Pursuant to Article 6 (3) of the UStG, the importation of goods used by the declarant directly after importation to carry out intra-Community supplies within the meaning of Article 7 of the UStG is exempt from tax, whereby the declarant must provide accounting evidence that the conditions of Article 7 have been met.

Further links

Legal bases

Expert Information

Link to form

Translated by the European Commission, altered by the Federal Ministry of Finance
Last update: 1 January 2022

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Finance

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