Intra-European payment and VAT

In every European country, if you buy something, you have to pay Value Added Tax (or VAT) It ranges per country from 15 till 25% per country.

  • If you’re a private person, you just have to pay it, no matter what.
  • If you’re a company or self-employed, you can deduct this tax via complex procedure with your accountant.

This procedure becomes even more complex if your company is located in one European country and you’re buying something in another. In this situation you can ask from a shop, if they can sell it to you without VAT at all. 

It is possible, but not all the shops provide this service. You can not just come to a supermarket, show your VAT-id from neighbor country and ask for non-VAT payment. It has to be a special “B2B” shop.

If you have a e-store, it’s also not very easy:

  1. You need to ask a VAT-id from all your customer and check it via official European Commission VAT-check web-service, called VIES (VAT Information Exchange System). Finally something useful from European Commission! You can also check a VAT manually here.
  2. Then your shop need to provide order without VAT tax and your CRM must understand it
  3. (worst part) When your accountant has to provide a tax declaration for VAT, you need to represent every transaction separately, including information about client’s VAT. A lot of e-shops don’t provide this service because of difficulties of tax declaration


In general, if you’re located in one EU-country and want to go abroad, check it with your accountant, may be it’s not such a good idea.

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