Knowledge Base: E-commerce Accounting and VAT Compliance

Intra-Community VAT number (EU VAT) and how to check it

Intra-Community VAT number (EU VAT) and how to check it

Date12 Mar 2024

In today’s e-commerce environment, where businesses operate internationally, transactions across national borders are inevitable. In such a context, knowing the procedure for checking the intra-Community VAT number (EU VAT) is crucial for e-commerce sellers operating within the European Union. But what is this number actually and how can it be checked?

What is an intra-Community VAT number?

An intra-Community VAT number, also known as EU VAT, is an individual identifier allocated to companies in the European Union that are liable to pay VAT. It is a kind of European equivalent to a national tax identification number (TIN). Any EU VAT taxpayer can apply for an EU VAT in their country, especially if they plan to trade between countries in the EU.

For what purpose is an intra-Community VAT number used?

The EU VAT number is necessary for the correct accounting of VAT on inter-country transactions within the EU. It must appear on invoices, VAT returns and INTRASTAT declarations that relate to the exchange of goods or services between EU Member States. This is a necessary condition for all intra-Community transactions. Failure to have a correct EU VAT number can lead to inappropriate tax being charged, which can have negative financial consequences for the business.

How to check an intra-Community VAT number?

There are three main ways to check the correctness of an intra-Community VAT number:

Checking on the invoice: The EU VAT number should be visible on the invoice or other document issued by the EU VAT taxable person. Make sure that this number matches the entity’s details.

Using the VIES search engine: The VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) is the EU platform for verifying EU VAT numbers. Simply go to the VIES website, select the country and enter the VAT number to be verified. The system will immediately verify the correctness of the EU VAT number.

Contact your tax office: If you have any doubts about the correctness of your EU VAT number, you can contact the relevant tax office in the seller’s or buyer’s country. Tax officials are able to confirm the correctness of the number and provide additional information related to the VAT settlement.

Why should you check your intra-Community VAT number?

Checking the correctness of the EU VAT number is crucial to avoid incorrect tax settlements and possible problems with the tax authorities. The correct use of the EU VAT number also avoids overpayment of VAT on inter-country transactions.


The intra-Community VAT number (EU VAT) is a key element for businesses operating within the EU. The correctness of this number is essential for the correct accounting of VAT in international transactions. Therefore, knowing the procedure for checking it is important for e-commerce sellers who wish to trade on the European market. With the tools available and the cooperation with the tax authorities, checking the correctness of the EU VAT number should not be a difficulty for any trader.

With amavat®, you can focus on running your e-commerce business, safe in the knowledge that all accounting and tax matters will be properly taken care of. Our expertise and experience allows you to take care of your finances, giving you peace of mind and time to do what you do best – grow your business!
VAT Compliance Services for e-commerce across the EU

If you have any doubts or need professional advice, we offer comprehensive support in the field of VAT registration and settlement through our VAT Compliance service in Europe: Contact us – amavat ®.


amavat® Team

Iga Turniak

Junior Process Management & QM Specialist at getsix®, Marketing Assistant at getsix® and amavat®. With the company since March 2022. Interested in SEO, content marketing, and the e-commerce industry.

LinkedIn logo
This publication is non-binding information and serves for general information purposes. The information provided does not constitute legal, tax or management advice and does not replace individual advice. Despite careful processing, all information in this publication is provided without any guarantee for the accuracy, up-to-date nature or completeness of the information. The information in this publication is not suitable as the sole basis for action and cannot replace actual advice in individual cases. The liability of the authors or amavat® are excluded. We kindly ask you to contact us directly for a binding consultation if required. The content of this publication iis the intellectual property of amavat® or its partner companies and is protected by copyright. Users of this information may download, print and copy the contents of the publication exclusively for their own purposes.

Need help?

Speak to a Customer Relations Consultant for Online Sellers. An expert will respond shortly.

International Sales Manager
Customer Relations Consultant for Online Sellers