It is an electronic mean of validating VAT-identification numbers of economic operators registered in the European Union for cross border transactions on goods or services.
When you need to verify the VAT number of your customer in another Member State through VIES on-the-web, this request will be sent, through a secure connection, to the relevant national database to check if the given number is recorded there. If yes, the "Valid" status will be displayed. If not, "Invalid" status will be displayed.
Depending on the national rules on data protection, some Member States will also provide the name and address linked to the given VAT number as they are recorded in the national databases.
Suppliers of electronic services, such as anti-virus updates are obliged to charge VAT on the service. If the purchaser of these services is a taxable person, then in certain circumstances, it is the customer, rather than the supplier who must account for the VAT. For this reason, the supplier may ask for the VAT identification number of the customer, so that he can confirm whether it is he who must charge the VAT or whether the customer himself will account for the VAT. If the customer does not have a valid VAT number, then the supplier will charge VAT. For additional information, please see VAT on e-commerce (FAQ).
Databases with VAT numbers are maintained by national tax administrations. If your information on VIES on-the-web is not up to date you should contact your tax administration. Once the update will be made, it will be immediately visible through VIES on-the-web. The changes are not validated by the European Commission.
No. The system is designed for single requests.
No. Only confirmation on whether or not a number is valid. It is not possible to confirm the validity of a VAT number in the past. It is possible to do it only for the current day.
If a VAT number is shown as invalid, in the first instance check with your customer that the number quoted is correct (correct number of characters, correct length and country prefix). If the number quoted by your customer, even after checking, continues to be ‘invalid’, you should ask that business to contact his/her tax administration to request that the data in the national VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) be updated (only national tax administrations can update VIES data).
Should you find out that your business’ data are incorrect or not up to date, you should contact your own tax administration and ask for it to be corrected. Please note that some EU tax administrations will require you to submit such requests in writing or by completing a form.
Some Member States require an additional registration for intra-EU transactions and record in their national VIES databases only such VAT numbers; therefore, it is possible that a VAT number, even if correct, will not be validated through VIES, because the owner of that VAT number is not involved in intra-EU transactions or did not register for that purposes with his/her tax administration.
The tax administration that has to be contacted is always the administration that has allocated the VAT identification number for which mistakes or incorrect data are encountered. This tax administration can be identified by the country prefix that precedes the VAT identification number. The adjustments are done in conformity with the domestic procedures of the Member State concerned.
Attached you can find a list containing the web-links to the homepages of the national tax administrations that you can contact for correction
It is necessary to ensure that the person you are supplying to in another Member State is a taxable person as this is one of the elements that define the correct VAT treatment. All taxable persons have the obligation to inform their tax administration that they perform VAT taxable transactions; in exchange, tax administration provides them with a unique VAT number. VIES on-the-web allows to validate whether the VAT number provided by your customer is registered in the relevant national database.
The valid VAT number of your customer should be mentioned on your invoice.
Yes. The number of your customer quoted in your recapitulative statement which you submit to your tax administration must be correct.
Taxable persons making the intra-Community supplies report the total supplies in the relevant quarter to each taxable person in another Member State on a recapitulative statement which is submitted to the tax administration of the taxable person making the supply.
The European Commission cannot divulge these algorithms. However, the structure of VAT identification numbers is given in the table below.
|AT-Austria||ATU99999999||1 block of 9 characters|
|BE-Belgium||BE0999999999||1 block of 10 digits|
|1 block of 9 digits or
|CY-Cyprus||CY99999999L||1 block of 9 characters|
|CZ-Czech Republic||CZ99999999 or
|1 block of either 8, 9 or 10 digits|
|DE-Germany||DE999999999||1 block of 9 digits|
|DK-Denmark||DK99 99 99 99||4 blocks of 2 digits|
|EE-Estonia||EE999999999||1 block of 9 digits|
|EL-Greece||EL999999999||1 block of 9 digits|
|ES-Spain||ESX9999999X4||1 block of 9 characters|
|FI-Finland||FI99999999||1 block of 8 digits|
|FR-France||FRXX 999999999||1 block of 2 characters, 1 block of 9 digits|
|GB-United Kingdom||GB999 9999 99 or
GB999 9999 99 9995 or
|1 block of 3 digits, 1 block of 4 digits and 1 block of 2 digits; or the above followed by a block of 3 digits; or 1 block of 5 characters|
|HR-Croatia||HR99999999999||1 block of 11 digits|
|HU-Hungary||HU99999999||1 block of 8 digits|
|1 block of 8 characters or 1 block of 9 characters|
|IT-Italy||IT99999999999||1 block of 11 digits|
|1 block of 9 digits, or 1 block of 12 digits|
|LU-Luxembourg||LU99999999||1 block of 8 digits|
|LV-Latvia||LV99999999999||1 block of 11 digits|
|MT-Malta||MT99999999||1 block of 8 digits|
|NL-The Netherlands||NL999999999B998||1 block of 12 characters|
|PL-Poland||PL9999999999||1 block of 10 digits|
|PT-Portugal||PT999999999||1 block of 9 digits|
|RO-Romania||RO999999999||1 block of minimum 2 digits and maximum 10 digits|
|SE-Sweden||SE999999999999||1 block of 12 digits|
|SI-Slovenia||SI99999999||1 block of 8 digits|
|SK-Slovakia||SK9999999999||1 block of 10 digits|
The Commission´s web site is a real-time system which checks the validity of VAT identification numbers against the databases maintained by Member States. If your VAT number appears as invalid, you should take this matter up with your own tax administration.
The Commission´s web site is a real-time system which checks the validity of VAT identification numbers against the databases maintained by Member States. In other words, when you check a number, it is the database of that Member State that is being checked. If the VAT number of your customer comes up as invalid, then he should take the matter up with his fiscal administration.
The Commission´s web site is a real-time system which checks the validity of VAT identification numbers against the databases maintained by Member States. In other words, when you check a number, it is the database of that Member State that is being checked. Some parts of the system may be unavailable at certain times due to the necessity to back-up the Member States' databases.
This is a known problem, and the Commission is working with Member States to ensure that the length of time that their databases are down for updating is kept to a minimum.
Certain Member States permit the display of the name and address of the taxable person where the VAT number is currently valid. If no name/address is displayed, this means that the relevant Member State does not permit the display of this data.
Customers have the right to get confirmation from their own tax administration if a VAT identification number is associated with a name and/or address.
A SOAP service, offering the same functionality as the interactive service is available. The disclaimer, Help and FAQ pages are also applicable for this service. Its WSDL file can be obtained here: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/checkVatService.wsdl. Any technical question related to this service can be submitted to TAXUD - Vies on Internet.
It is not possible to search for a VAT number based on the name or address.
If you believe that your customer is not a taxable person, you should not exempt the supply but should charge VAT.
The correct prefix for Austria is "AT". The first position for Austrian VAT numbers is always "U". You should therefore enter a "U" as the first character when verifying an Austrian VAT identification number.
The Commission web site is connected to the Member States VAT databases respectively and the verification is based on the information available in the respective database. There is no central database.
You can find this information in the VAT in the European Community publication.
You can find hereafter a list of the available company types by Member State:
|EL-0||ΦΥΣΙΚΟ ΠΡΟΣΩΠΟ / FYSIKO PROSOPO|
|EL-4||ΕΠΕ / EPE|
|EL-5||ΕΠΕ ΜΟΝΟΠΡΟΣΩΠΗ / EPE MONOPROSOPI|
|EL-6||ΙΜΕ ΕΠΕ / IME EPE|
|EL-8||ΝΑΥΤΙΚΗ ΕΤΑΙΡΕΙΑ / NAFTIKI ETAIRIA,ΝΑΥΤΙΚΗ ΕΤΑΙΡΕΙΑ / NAFTIKI ETAIRIA|
|EL-19||ΙΜΕ ΕΠΕ ΜΟΝΟΠΡΟΣΩΠΗ / IME EPE MONOPROSOPI|
|EL-31||ΑΓΡΟΤΙΚΟΣ ΣΥΝΕΤΑΙΡΙΣΜΟΣ / AGROTIKOS SYNETAIRISMOS|
|EL-35||ΝΕΠΑ ΝΑΥΤΙΛ ΕΤΑΙΡ ΠΛΟΙΩΝ ΑΝΑΨΥΧ Ν3182/03 / NEPA NAFTIL ETAIR PLOION ANAPSYCH N3182/03|
|EL-45||ΕΥΡΩΠΑΙΚΟΣ ΟΜΙΛΟΣ ΟΙΚΟΝΟΜΙΚΟΥ ΣΚΟΠΟΥ / EVROPAIKOS OMILOS OIKONOMIKOU SKOPOU|
|EL-51||ΑΕ ΜΟΝΟΠΡΟΣΩΠΗ / AE MONOPROSOPI|
|EL-60||ΝΟΜΙΚΟ ΠΡΟΣΩΠΟ ΔΗΜΟΣΙΟΥ ΔΙΚΑΙΟΥ / NOMIKO PROSOPO DIMOSIOU DIKAIOU|
|EL-99||ΑΛΛΟ / OTHER|
|ES-6||Comunidad de Bienes|
|ES-8||Asociación y otro tipo|
|ES-9||Comunidad de Propietarios|
|ES-10||Sociedades civiles c/s Personal. Jurídica|
|ES-14||Congregaciones e Instituciones religiosas|
|ES-15||Organismo de la Administración del Estado o Comunidades Autónomas (CCAA)|
|ES-16||Unión temporal de empresas|
|ES-17||Otros tipos no definidos|
|ES-18||Establecimiento permanente de entidad no residente|