[ic] VAT numbers in EU at shipping or billing ?

Kevin Walsh kevin at cursor.biz
Thu Jun 2 12:17:33 EDT 2005

ns [linux at post10.tele.dk] wrote:
> I did wonder, have any of you living in EU started to register VAT
> numbers ? 
> I was wondering where in the checkout page you put it,, only in the
> shipping or only in billing part (or both places)
> I feel stupid making a VAT-number field in the shipping part, if it
> shuld be entered in billing because there is another billing address.
> In reallity ether I have to register it both places, or in the billing
> part. but then I have to rearrange everyginh related to shipping and
> billing informations eveywhere (*sig*)
Use the billing address for tax calculations.  If the buyer and
the seller are in Europe or the UK then VAT is payable.  It doesn't
really matter where the goods are going.  The payer can opt to provide
a VAT number, and defer the VAT payment, if:

   1. They have one
   2. They want to
   3. You allow them to
   4. The buyer is in a different country from the seller
      (I don't think this works if both parties are in the same country).

Don't take anyone's word on VAT-related matters (even mine).  Get the
information from an official source.  Here's a UK source of info:


I don't bother with any of that.  I just charge everyone VAT, which
they can claim back from the government in the usual manner.

If you take a VAT number instead of a VAT payment then that will just
complicate your accounts and leave you open to fraud.  The tax man
will not care if you didn't collect the tax from your customer because
you trusted their VAT registration number to be valid.  The VAT will be
owed by you - and the tax man always collects.

Always check tax matters with an accountant.  Don't take anyone's word
for it. :-)

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