German Tax ID - StNr - on the invoice!?
Thread poster: Vito Smolej

Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 14:15
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Aug 15

I am resident in Germany and have been freelancing since 2004, with German and out-of-state customers. As my revenues are below the German VAT radar level, I have since times immemorial the following notice on every invoice:

Based on §19 des UMStGe I am not subject to VAT.
resp...
Gemäß §19 des UMStGe bin ich von der Mehrwertsteuer befreit und nehme nicht am Umsatzsteuerverfahren teil.


Now an agency is asking me to provide my tax number. What for!? My tax number is only something between me and the taxman. So I am refusing to rewrite the invoice - and the accounting keeps pushing. The big accounting cheese.

Given the fact the agency has my CV, the issue looks rather nitty-gritty and I do not want to play Michael Kohlhaas. But it riles me...

To German colleagues: do you put your "SteuerNummer" - again NOT MWStNr! - on your invoices? If yes, why?

TiA

smo


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
Steuernummer or VAT number MUST be on German invoices Aug 15

The accounting advice you find in Germany is that either the Steuernummer or the VAT number (USt-Nummer) must appear on German invoices.

If you are VAT-registered, your VAT number must appear on your invoices, in which case there is no need for the Steuernummer, but if you don't have a VAT number, your only choice is the Steuernummer.

Note that you should never put your personal tax ID number on your invoices.

By searching for “steuernummer oder ust nummer auf rechnungen“, I found many articles such as these:

https://debitoor.de/gruenderlounge/handel-europa/muss-die-umsatzsteuer-id-oder-die-steuernummer-auf-die-rechnung

http://www.akademie.de/wissen/business-basics-professionelle-rechnungen/pflichtangaben-auf-rechnungen

https://www.billomat.com/magazin/welche-steuernummer-gehoert-auf-die-rechnung/#


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Agnes Lenkey  Identity Verified
German to Spanish
+ ...
Three tax numbers? Aug 16

Hello to all,

I am glad here in Spain there is only one tax number which I must always use (in case of invoices within the EU, it is the same number, but in a larger form, bearing the letters ES before the number, i.e. the VAT-number for business with other companies registered in the European register, where I am also registered).

Even so, it is important to me to understand how the German system works, and after the answer of Thomas I am confused: "Note that you should never put your personal tax ID number on your invoices.".

How do I have to understand this for Germany? Is there a STEUERNUMMER, an USt-ID (you say one of these must appear on the invoice) and also a personal tax ID number (which should never be used on an invoice)?? Hmmm, it seems confusing.

Thanks, best regards,

Agnes


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Patricia Blanco Dominguez  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:15
Member (2013)
German to Spanish
+ ...
Steuernummer vs. Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer vs. Steuerliche Identifikationsnummer Aug 16

Agnes Lenkey wrote:

Hello to all,

I am glad here in Spain there is only one tax number which I must always use (in case of invoices within the EU, it is the same number, but in a larger form, bearing the letters ES before the number, i.e. the VAT-number for business with other companies registered in the European register, where I am also registered).

Even so, it is important to me to understand how the German system works, and after the answer of Thomas I am confused: "Note that you should never put your personal tax ID number on your invoices.".

How do I have to understand this for Germany? Is there a STEUERNUMMER, an USt-ID (you say one of these must appear on the invoice) and also a personal tax ID number (which should never be used on an invoice)?? Hmmm, it seems confusing.

Thanks, best regards,

Agnes


Hello Agnes,

in Germany we have the Steuernummer (not VAT-registered) and the Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer (VAT-registered; «NIF-IVA» in Spanish). These are for "business" and you have to write them in your invoices.

The «personal tax ID» Thomas was talking about is the «Steuerliche Identifikationsnummer», like a taxpayer identification number, which indeed is personal and you should never give to anyone.

I hope this helps you.

Best regards,

Patricia

[Edited at 2017-08-16 09:41 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Markus Waismayer
Austria
Local time: 14:15
English to German
Confirmation for entrepreneurship Aug 23

I don´t know the whole conversation, but my impression is, that this agency wants any confirmation for entrepreneurship.

Normally the VAT (UID)- number is used as a kind of reference and should be mentioned on each invoice (e.g. in Austria) as explained by Thomas. For the service provider within your own country and for both, the provider (company) and the receiver (company) for deliveries within Europe between companies located in two different European countries. So if you deliver any service from Austria to Germany e.g., you shouldn´t bill any VAT adding the hint "Free of VAT according to reverse charge procedure".
I think, this system once was invented to avoid any VAT fraud and there are several VAT tax agreements between participating European countries.

Hmmm - and I didn´t know, that it isn´t used in Spain as it is used in several European countries - mentioned here e.g.:

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer

As far as I know, there also exist some agreements between Switzerland and several countries of the EU.

However - coming back to the initial questions - the reason behind that issue could be, that this agency wants to avoid any problems with the financial authority - e.g. , if you would not be registered as an entrepreneur - at the moment, it seems, that they don´t have any confirmation for your entrepreneurship. With any UID-number they could identify you as a company, because there is a register, in which all participating companies are listed. If you are registered as a "small business" without billing VAT, this would be ok, but they just don´t have any chance for confirmation except your tax number. The financial authority usually issues special tax numbers for companies (compared to employees) - for that reason it could be identified, if you are acting as a company or not.

So this could not only become "something" between you and and the financial authority, but also between your client and the financial authority. Maybe not any serious issue (IF you are registered as an entrepreneur), but at least an issue, which takes time for communication and clarification, if there arise some questions. If the financial authority faces the tax number on the invoice, there either won´t arise any questions or they simply could check it within 5 minutes.
So I think, they don´t want to bother you with accounting cheese , but they simply want to avoid any financial authority cheese.

To be honest - if I am working with new clients, my tax expert always asks me to check their UID-numbers to confirm, that they are acting as a company and to avoid any problems with the financial authority. Because if it would be any phantom company, I as well would face some problems.
And if this happens, any argumentation like "I didn´t know, that they don´t act as a company" wouldn´t help, as the financiall authority would answer "Sorry, but you would have to check that in advance".
The worst case would be, that I would have to remargin some taxes.


Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

German Tax ID - StNr - on the invoice!?

Advanced search







LSP.expert
You’re a freelance translator? LSP.expert helps you manage your daily translation jobs. It’s easy, fast and secure.

How about you start tracking translation jobs and sending invoices in minutes? You can also manage your clients and generate reports about your business activities. So you always keep a clear view on your planning, AND you get a free 30 day trial period!

More info »
SDL MultiTerm 2017
Guarantee a unified, consistent and high-quality translation with terminology software by the industry leaders.

SDL MultiTerm 2017 allows translators to create one central location to store and manage multilingual terminology, and with SDL MultiTerm Extract 2017 you can automatically create term lists from your existing documentation to save time.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search