Intra-Community VAT number
Verified 01 January 2023 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Finance
Any company that has to pay VAT in the European Union (EU) has an individual tax identification number. It is issued by the tax department. The company must include this number on its invoices, goods exchange reports and VAT returns.
The intra-Community VAT number is an individual identification number.
It shall be issued by the tax authorities of the company concerned at the time of its registration or declaration of activity.
The number structure is specific to each country.
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 is mandatory for the company that has to pay the VAT and is domiciled within the European Union.
The company not liable for VAT may, if it so wishes, request the assignment 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 the company sells or purchases services from EU businesses.
A company dependent on the VAT exemption will not lose the benefits of this scheme if it applies for an intra-Community VAT number.
Company liable for VAT
The company Tax Service (EIS) automatically transmits the intra-Community VAT number to the company when it is registered.
The number is also included on VAT returns.
The seller must obtain the VAT identification number of the buyer in order to benefit from exemption VAT on supplies within the European Union.
This number must have been assigned to the purchaser by a country other than the country from which the purchases originate.
Company not liable for VAT
If the company is not subject to VAT, the assignment of an intra-Community VAT number is not automatic.
- Company subject to the VAT-free (e.g. self-contractor)
- Agricultural operator placed under the agricultural flat-rate refund
- Company that only performs transactions on which VAT cannot be deducted
The application for an intra-Community VAT number to the EIS on which it depends is mandatory 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. Acquisitions within the European Union become taxable in France.
Furthermore, 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 benefit from the VAT exemption on deliveries within the European Union. This number must have been assigned to the purchaser by a country other than the country from which the purchases originate.
You must send your request for an EU VAT number by post to the tax office of the companies on which you depend.
Application for an intra-Community VAT number to a non-liable taxable person
Who shall I contact
Companies that have commercial relations with EU customers or suppliers can verify the validity of an intra-Community VAT number to avoid fraud and fraud.
Verification of an intra-Community VAT number (VIES)
Before each transaction, it is recommended to check the VAT number that is mandatory on the invoices.
If the European partner's intra-Community VAT number is "invalid", the partner must provide a certificate of liability issued by its tax authority. If he does not do so, he will have to be invoiced under the VAT system in France.
In the event of an error on the partner company's number, it must contact its tax authority in order to have the number regularised. For a French company, it is the company tax department on which it depends.
Who shall I contact
There is no European database of the VAT number of a company by name or business name.
In what cases can he be invalidated?
A company may have its intra-Community VAT number invalidated if it is in certain situations. The invalidation is notified by the tax authority with the reason why the number has been invalidated.
Transmission of false information
A company that has passed on false information to the tax authorities in order to obtain an intra-Community VAT number may have its number invalidated.
No change transmission
A company that does not transmit its data changes may have its intra-Community VAT number invalidated.
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 in the European Union and is in one of the following situations:
- It shall not provide a reply within 30 days to request for regularisation of the tax administration (declarative failure, failure to file the VAT summary report, etc.)
- It shall not provide an answer within 15 days of the notification of the infringements, where it has been found that repeatedly transmitted inaccurate information
- It is an obstacle to the proper conduct of fiscal control or the right of enquiry.
How do I get a disabled number restored?
The invalidated intra-Community VAT number shall be reinstated without delay if the company meets the following conditions:
- It regularised the information transmitted (in case of declaratory failure or transmission of false information).
- It regularised its situation in the light of the repeated transmission of inaccurate information.
- It is no longer an obstacle to the conduct of fiscal control and the right of enquiry.
- It submitted observations justifying the re-establishment of its intra-Community VAT number.
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- General tax code: Article 256aExemption for non-liable taxable persons
- General tax code: Article 286bPrinciple of intra-Community number