Intra-Community VAT Number
Verified 14 March 2023 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)
Every company subject to VAT within the European Union (EU) has an individual tax identification number. It is issued by the tax department of the country in which she is domiciled. The company must include this number on its commercial documents (invoice, quotation, etc.) and on its administrative documents (VAT return, etc.).
The intra-Community VAT number is individual identification number.
The number structure is country-specific.
In France, the number consists of the code FR, a computer key (2 digits) and the Siren number company (9 digits).
The intra-Community VAT number is obligatory for the company liable for VAT (who must pay) and who is domiciled in a Member State of the European Union (EU).
A company liable for VAT but not liable for it (does not have to pay it) may, if it so wishes, apply for the allocation of an intra-Community VAT number. This is the case, for example, of a company subject to the exemption from VAT.
A company who is not liable for VAT is not in principle no requirement to have an intra-community VAT number. However, the number becomes mandatory when it makes acquisitions (purchases) in the EU for an amount exceeding €10,000 per year or when it sells or purchases services from businesses established in the EU.
A company dependent on the exemption from VAT will not lose the benefits of this scheme if it applies for an intra-Community VAT number.
Company liable for payment of VAT
The company Tax Service (SIE) automatically transmits the intra-Community company VAT number at the time of registration.
The number must appear on the commercial and administrative documents of the company (invoice, VAT declaration...).
Company not liable for VAT
If the company is not liable to pay VAT, the allocation of an intra-Community VAT number shall not be automatic pitch.
For example, the following companies do not automatically receive an Intra-Community VAT number:
- Company subject to the exemption from VAT (e.g. micro-entrepreneur)
- Farmer placed under the flat-rate agricultural refund scheme
- A company that carries out only transactions on which VAT cannot be deducted (transactions exempt from VAT)
The company must apply for an intra-Community VAT number from the company Tax Office (SIE) on which it depends if:
- It provides and purchases services from professionals established in the European Union.
- It purchases goods or services in the European Union in excess of €10,000.
The company must apply for an intra-Community VAT number online via business account email on the website Impat.gouv.fr:
Companies trading with customers or suppliers in the European Union can check the validity of an intra-Community VAT number to prevent fraud and scams.
This verification can be done using the following online service:
Before each transaction, it is recommended to check the VAT number that must appear on the invoices.
If the EU partner's intra-EU VAT number is "invalid", it must provide a tax certificate issued by its tax authority. If he does not do so, he will have to be invoiced under the French VAT system.
In the event of an error in the partner company's number, the company must contact its tax authorities to have its number corrected. When the partner company is French, it is the company tax department on which it depends.
Who shall I contact
There is no European database for finding the VAT number of a company based on its name or business name.
In what cases can it be invalidated?
A company may have its VAT number invalidated if it is in certain situations. The invalidation shall be notified by the tax authority together with the reason why the number has been invalidated.
1. Transmission of false information
The company who transmitted from false information to the tax authority to obtain an intra-EU VAT number may have its number invalidated.
2. No transmission of amendment
The company who does not forward its data changes may have its VAT registration number invalidated.
3. Company involved in VAT fraud
The intra-Community VAT number may be invalidated when the company cannot ignore or knows that it is involved in VAT fraud in France or the European Union and is in one of the following situations:
- It shall not reply within 30 days to application for regularization the tax authorities (failure to submit a declaration, failure to submit a VAT recapitulative statement, etc.).
- It shall not provide a reply within 15 days of the notification of the non-compliances where it has been found that it has repeatedly transmitted inaccurate information.
- It hinders the proper conduct of fiscal supervision or the right of investigation (allows customs and tax officials to investigate breaches of the VAT invoicing obligation, such as false or erroneous invoicing).
Setting up a fictitious business for the purpose of collecting VAT and then dissolving it in order to avoid returning it to the State is a VAT fraud.
4. Non-compliance with representation
A company outside the European Union that carries out VAT transactions must appoint a tax representative. This representative is responsible for the fulfillment of the tax reporting obligations. The VAT number can be invalidated if this company does not fulfill its obligation to be represented.
How do I get a disabled number restored?
The invalidated intra-Community VAT number shall be reinstated without delay when the company completes one of the following conditions :
- It regularized the information transmitted (in the case of a reporting failure or transmission of false information).
- It has regularized its situation with regard to the repeated transmission of inaccurate information.
- It no longer impedes the conduct of the tax inspection and the right of investigation.
- It submitted comments justifying the reinstatement of its intra-Community VAT number.
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