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Tax identification numbers (TIN)

General overview

Most EU countries use Tax Identification Numbers (TINs) to identify taxpayers and facilitate the administration of their national tax affairs. TINs are also useful for identifying taxpayers who invest in other EU countries and are more reliable than other identifiers such as name and address.

Financial institutions have to record the name and address of their account holders and, if there is one, the Tax Identification Number allocated by the EU country of residence for tax purposes. They must report the TIN, together with other personal and income details every year to the tax authorities of the country where they are established as part of their obligations under the Savings Directive.

TIN specifications (structure, syntax, etc.) are set by the national authorities. Some countries even have a different TIN structure for different categories of individuals (e.g. nationals and foreign residents).

 

European TIN Portal

In order to facilitate the work of all stakeholders, the European Commission has launched a cooperative project whereby information about TINs that Member States choose to publish is available in one single Internet page including:

  • General information about TINs by country (when the Member State's tax administration has chosen to publish this information): descriptions of the structure and specificities of the national TIN, examples of official documents showing the TINs, national websites and contact points.
  • An online check module which allows checking the TIN syntax (i.e. algorithm) or, if not available, the TIN structure.

 

Limitations

There is no TIN at EU level, and not all EU countries have TINs. Some have other identifiers, which for legal or other reasons cannot be treated as TINs. Some do not automatically issue TINs to all taxpayers. Details of these limitations are shown on the individual country pages.

The online check module does not confirm the identity of a person or the existence of the TIN but simply confirms whether the syntax (i.e. algorithm) and/or structure of the TIN entered is correct. Where a country has not provided its algorithms, only the structure can be checked.

For financial institutions, the information on this portal does not replace, but complements the Know Your Customer Procedures.

 

Legal notice

The information published on this page and all the pages dedicated to TIN (hereafter: the "European TIN Portal") and the use of the TIN online check module provided on this European TIN Portal, of which it constitutes an integral part, are subject to a disclaimer, a copyright notice and rules relating to the protection of personal data and privacy, which are available under the legal notice page.