Why the VAT ID check is important for intra-Community deliveries – an example

Mini series: All about the VAT ID number – part 12.

In this multi-part series of articles, we would like to introduce you to what a VAT ID (USt-ID) is. In addition, we would like to cover interesting and worth knowing topics around the topic of USt-ID and shed some light on the subject.

We hope you enjoy reading this article!

Why the VAT ID check is important for intra-Community deliveries – an example.

As we have already presented in our mini-series, the VAT identification number (VAT ID) check is very important, especially for intra-Community supplies. An intra-Community supply is said to occur when a cross-border supply takes place within the EU. This means that both the “sending” company and the “receiving” company are located within the EU. Here, under certain conditions, the country of the supplying company can exempt the supplying company from VAT.

The prerequisite for this is that the supplying company ensures that the customer in another EU member state is also an entrepreneur subject to VAT. This can be done by checking the VAT ID. If the other company has a VAT ID, this can be verified by the supplying company. Checking the VAT ID, e.g. using the Optimus VAT ID checker, is a quick and easy way for the supplying company to ensure that the recipient is also a company.

Federal Fiscal Court (BFH) sees due diligence obligation to regularly check VAT ID.

The importance of checking the VAT ID is also shown by the opinion of the Federal Fiscal Court. It makes clear that checking the VAT ID is part of the duty of care of a prudent businessman. In any case, the company must check the VAT ID promptly when making the first delivery. The BFH also clarifies that a one-time check of the customer’s VAT ID is not sufficient. Rather, this must also be checked regularly in the following.

Once-off verification of the VAT ID is not sufficient.

This means that the VAT ID does not only have to be checked by new customers. The VAT ID must also be checked for existing customers who maintain regular business contact.

Regular verification of the VAT ID: Optimus prevents unpleasant surprises.

Since manual verification of the VAT ID at the Federal Central Tax Office is complicated and time-consuming, the process should ideally be automated as far as possible. This is where the Optimus VAT ID checker can help. Using the VAT ID checker, you can quickly and easily check the validity of a large number of VAT ID numbers. In addition, you can not only check the addresses stored in your master data for correctness using an AI-supported algorithm, but also retrieve the stored address data and thus check your customer master data for up-to-dateness.