Freiberufler VAT number

6 posts in this topic

Hi, I recently registered as a freelancer in Germany.

I got a number from the Finanzamt that looks like xxx/yyy/zzzz. I thought this was my VAT number but it's not. It's my steuernummer.

 

1. Does this mean I still need to register for a VAT number?

2. For example, I bought yesterday a microchip board at shop.rs-online.de and they asked me for my VAT number. I gave them xxx/yyy/zzzz - they haven't complained yet. What should I give companies asking me for my VAT number?

3. I have a client in Spain, I assume I don't need to charge them VAT but do I need to do anything special like register somewhere or write something on the invoice, or nothing extra is needed?

 

Thanks,

 

Paulo

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You'll receive a letter from the Finanzamt with a number that looks like DE123456789.  That'll be your VAT number.

Why are you assuming no need to charge a client in Spain VAT?  If you are over the 17.500€ Umsatz threshold, you do need to.

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AFAIK you aren't given a VAT registration number automatically. You have to submit a request for it. All such requests are handled centrally by the Bundesamt für Steuern in Saarlouis. You can submit your request to them in writing at the following address:

 

Bundeszentralamt für Steuern
Dienstsitz Saarlouis
66738 Saarlouis

 

You can also submit an online request at https://www.formulare-bfinv.de/: click "Vergabe einer Ust-ID".

 

If your client in Spain is a business and also has a VAT number, then you're right, you don't charge them VAT (through the reverse-charge process). If your client is a consumer, you have to charge them VAT.

 

IMO as a rule, you should never admit that you're a business when buying things online, because then you won't get the regular protections that consumers enjoy (such as the 14-day right to return anything you buy online). The only advantage is that you don't pay VAT directly on your purchase, but you'll get that money back with your next VAT advance return anyway.

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Jeffo, I never applied for one.  The Finanzamt simply sent it.  It was a few years ago and I am getting... what was I saying?  Oh yes, forgetful.  :lol:  I might have applied, but I don't think I did.

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Thanks all. I got my steuernummer 3 weeks ago but no VAT number so I went ahead and followed El Jeffo's suggestion and applied for one.

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8 minutes ago, BayrischDude said:

Jeffo, I never applied for one.  The Finanzamt simply sent it.  It was a few years ago and I am getting... what was I saying?  Oh yes, forgetful.  :lol:  I might have applied, but I don't think I did.

 

You only get a VAT ID 'automatically' when you apply for it in the Finanzamts Fragebogen zur steuerlichen Erfassung. You have to mark point 7.9. with a cross: "Ich benötige für die Teilnahme am innergemeinschaftlichen Waren- und Dienstleistungsverkehr eine Umsatzsteueer-Identifikationsnummer". :) 

 

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