Selecting a language will automatically trigger the translation of the page content.

Intra-Community VAT number

Verified 13 novembre 2020 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister), Ministry of Finance

Every company liable for VAT in the European Union (EU) has an individual tax identification number issued by the tax department.The company must include this number on its invoices, goods exchange declarations and VAT returns.

The VAT number is an individual identification number.

It shall be issued by the tax administration of the country of domicile of the undertaking concerned at the time of its registration or declaration of activity.

The number structure is country-specific.

In France, the number consists of the FR code, a 2-digit or letter computer key and the company's Siren number (9 digits).

The intra-Community VAT number shall be mandatory for an undertaking which is subject to VAT and which is domiciled within the European Union.

An undertaking not liable for VAT may, if it so wishes, request the allocation of an intra-Community VAT number.

The number becomes mandatory when the amount of acquisitions made in the EU exceeds €10,000 per year or if it sells or purchases services from companies established in the EU.

  FYI : the application for an intra-Community VAT number shall not cause the undertaking to lose the benefit of its special arrangements free of VAT.

Company liable for VAT

If the undertaking is liable (supplies of goods and services performed for consideration), its business tax department (EIS) automatically transmits the intra-Community VAT number to it upon registration. The number also appears on VAT returns.

The seller must obtain the VAT identification number of the buyer in order to qualify for VAT exemption on intra-Community deliveries. This number must have been assigned to the buyer by a country other than the country from which the purchases originate.

  FYI : an undertaking registered in a French overseas territory (TOM) does not have an intra-Community VAT number. A company registered in Monaco or in an overseas department (DOM) has a French VAT number.

Company not liable for VAT

If the undertaking is not liable, the allocation of an intra-Community VAT number shall not be automatic.

Examples:

  • Subject to the VAT-based deductible (e.g. self-employed)
  • Agricultural operator placed under the agricultural flat-rate refund
  • Taxable which carries out only transactions not deductible from VAT

The application for an intra-Community VAT number to the EIS on which it depends shall be compulsory in the following situations:

  • Provision and purchase of services to professionals established in the EU
  • Sale or purchase of goods in the EU if the amount exceeds €10,000.. Intra-Community acquisitions become taxable in France.

In addition, the VAT regime commits the company to accounting and reporting obligations.

The seller must obtain the VAT identification number of the buyer in order to qualify for VAT exemption on intra-Community deliveries. This number must have been assigned to the buyer by a country other than the country from which the purchases originate.

Companies with commercial relations with EU customers or suppliers can check the validity of an EU VAT number to protect themselves against fraud and scams.

Validation of an Intra-Community VAT number (VIES)

European Commission

Before each transaction, it is recommended to check the VAT number that must appear on the invoices.

If the EU partner's VAT number is "invalid", the EU partner must provide a certificate of liability issued by its tax authority. If he does not, he will have to be invoiced under the VAT system in France.

In the event of an error in the number of the partner company, it is necessary to request a correction from the tax department on which it depends.

  Warning : there is no European database to find the VAT number of an undertaking by name or business name.