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What is a sales tax identification number (VAT ID no.) needed for? How do I obtain this? What special features do I need to bear in mind?

You need a VAT ID number if you

  • Supply goods to the rest of the Community (intra-Community supply, Section 4 (1) (1) (b) UStG in conjunction with Section 6a UStG, Section 18a (6) UStG) or purchase goods from the rest of the Community,
  • Carry out supplies within the meaning of § 25b para. 2 UStG (intra-Community triangular transactions),
  • provide other services in accordance with § 3a Para. 2 UStG in the rest of the Community which are taxable there and for which the recipient of the service is liable for the tax, or you make use of other services from an entrepreneur based in the rest of the Community.

The Federal Central Tax Office is responsible for issuing the VAT ID number (Section 27a (1) UStG). You have the following options for applying:

a) When setting up a new company

If you are not yet registered for VAT, you must first contact the tax office responsible for you (informally or, in the case of a newly established company, via the questionnaire for tax registration). As part of the VAT registration process, the required data will be transmitted to the Federal Central Tax Office. A separate application to the Federal Central Tax Office for the issue of a VAT ID number is not required in this case.

b) Companies already registered for VAT purposes

If you are already registered for VAT with the tax office, you have the option of applying for the VAT ID number directly at the Federal Central Tax Office online or in writing (letter, fax).

  • Application via the Internet
    This service is available daily from 05:00 to 23:00

  • Written application
    Please send your written application to the following address:
    Federal Central Tax Office
    Saarlouis office
    66738 Saarlouis
    Fax: +49-(0)228-406-3801


Further detailed information on the VAT ID number can be obtained from the Federal Central Tax Office.

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