The sales tax identification number (abbreviated: USt-IdNr.) Is a unique identification of a legal entity that participates in the sales tax goods or services traffic in the European Union (EU).
The sales tax identification number is used to process intra-Community trade in goods and services for sales tax purposes. It is therefore required by every entrepreneur who participates in the trade in goods and services between the member states within the territory of the European Union (until December 31, 2020 including the United Kingdom, see above).
Delivery to another EU country is exempt from VAT (tax-free intra-Community delivery) if the object of the delivery reaches another EU country and the delivery to an entrepreneur is carried out in the VAT sense for his company. The recipient's entrepreneurial status can be checked using the VAT identification number. This country of destination principle transfers taxation to the recipient country through intra-Community acquisitions.
In the case of services (other services) to entrepreneurs in the EU, the use of a VAT identification number by the recipient of the service provided that there are further requirements, it is possible to relocate the place of taxation to the EU member state that issued the VAT identification number used by the recipient. The beneficiary has to tax the service there by means of the so-called reverse charge procedure (in Germany: reversal of the tax liability according to § 13b UStG).
In Germany, entrepreneurs in the VAT sense will be given a VAT ID number. issued by the Federal Central Tax Office on request. The application can also be made online stating the tax number. The relevant tax office must be specified for this.