The VAT number is another name for the tax number . This number sequence, also known as the tax identification number, is assigned by the tax office to every taxable legal or natural person. It is kept under the appropriate person at the tax office. The VAT number is clearly assigned to a single taxable person. It is therefore of great importance for all administrative processes in the tax authorities. There are different tax numbers for some types of tax.
The VAT number in Germany
In the Federal Republic of Germany there are two systems that are used to number taxpayers. On the one hand, there is the old tax number, which is an ordinal number from the number of the tax office and a counting number. The tax number has been expanded to include a test feature in the form of a number. Today other tax numbers are common, they are also ordinal numbers as an individual identification number that has been provided with a test feature. Depending on the type of tax, e.g. sales tax , trade tax and income tax , tax numbers are assigned separately.
The length of the VAT number
For the so-called federal scheme, the VAT number had a length of 13 digits, depending on the federal states, it varies between ten digits and eleven digits. Integrates two or three digits of the four-digit Federal Tax Office number. The district numbers for the tax offices are also included. Then the VAT number also contains an individual distinguishing number and a check digit with one digit. Because the different details are of different lengths, the length of the VAT number is different.
Tax identification number since 2008
Since 2008 there has been a uniform tax identification number for the federal government. It is valid for a lifetime and even after death. Therefore, the tax number does not change if the assigned person has moved. When the old VAT number was no longer valid, everyone can read in the last tax assessment. Since 2011, the old tax number is no longer sufficient for exemption requests.
The different tax numbers
According to whicheverhealth, there are different tax numbers for different types of tax. These include, for example:
- tax number
- Identification Number
- Economy identification number
- Sales tax identification number
Both the tax and the identification number are each related to a person, the identification number accompanies a person throughout his life and does not change if his place of residence changes. However, the VAT number, i.e. the tax number, may change under certain circumstances. The sales tax and business identification numbers are tax numbers that are used for business or commercial purposes.
Where can I find the tax number?
If I want to find out his VAT number, the easiest way to do this is with the income tax assessment; it’s up there on the left. If there is no such notification, it is also possible to inquire by calling the responsible tax office. It is entirely possible to submit the income tax return without specifying a tax number. This can be the case if a person does not yet have a tax number.
Tax identification number information
It has already been briefly indicated: The tax identification number was communicated to the citizens in 2008. It is valid for life and replaces the old VAT number. The identification number and the tax number exist in parallel. How long this will be the case is not yet known. Anyone communicating with the tax office should, if possible, always quote both numbers.
Where can I find my tax identification number?
It is ideal if you look at the letter you received from the Federal Central Tax Office. The tax identification number can also be found there at the top left, it is printed in bold. If you do not have this letter to hand, you can also look at the income tax card or tax assessment. There too, your gaze should wander up to the left. If someone does not yet have an identification number, they should inform the Federal Central Tax Office. This can be done either by post or by email. If an identification number is to be applied for, the following information is required:
- Full name
- Date and place of birth
- The current address
These data can of course also be given in the letter or in the electronic mail. Another possibility would be to use the relevant form from the Federal Central Tax Office.
The meaning behind the tax number or VAT number
Completely regardless of whether trade tax, sales tax or income tax is payable, a tax office assigns tax numbers to taxable persons. There is one main reason for this fact: it is an assignment criterion. In this way, every taxable person can be correctly assigned by this number of the tax office, one reason why the VAT number should always be given in correspondence with the responsible tax office, whether by telephone or in writing. In this way, the clerk can find every transaction and immediately assign it correctly. That saves a lot of time, a lot of nerves and the questioner gets information very quickly. That would be different if the clerk had to look for names or other data first to find the file.
Sales tax identification number
And then there is the sales tax identification number. This is neither the VAT number nor the tax number nor the tax identification number. This is about the VAT allocation of companies based in the EU. As soon as an entrepreneur, even if he is a small business owner, trades in services or goods across national borders in the EU, he needs a VAT identification number.
What is a small business owner?
In this context, a quick detour to what a small business is all about. You are always a small business owner if your sales in the previous calendar year were less than 22,000 euros and in the current calendar year will in all likelihood remain below 50,000 euros. So these are entrepreneurs who make relatively little turnover. You then do not have to show any VAT or sales tax.
Many terms, different purposes – the bottom line
The VAT number or tax number is a number that is used to assign tax information to a legal or natural person. Therefore, the VAT number or tax number should always be given in inquiries. This can save a lot of time for both parties; The VAT number is not to be confused with the sales tax identification number or with the tax identification number. These are three different terms with different meanings. This can seem confusing at first, but in the next moment, after reading the information a little, it becomes clear which number means what and what it is good for.