vat invoice

Chapter 27

What Is a VAT Invoice?

Author: Bhaval Patel

Detailed Guide On Vat Invoice

VAT is also known as value-added tax and is called the good and services tax used across the European Union and other regions. It applies to goods and services as well as other taxable supplies. VAT is also a federal raised in almost 170 countries. A VAT invoice is paid by buyers when they purchase goods and services in the EU.

Detailed Guide On Vat Invoice


The Americans do not charge VAT, but each state is always to regulate tax at each inferior level. For this reason, businesses in the USA who sell to customers in the EU should understand how they utilize the received VAT.

Here, What you’ll learn about vat invoice:

  • What is a VAT invoice?
  • Charging VAT Invoice
  • The Purpose of VAT
  • Where does VAT apply?
  • Difference Between VAT and Sales Tax

VAT Invoice: What Does It Mean and How It Is Useful?

A VAT is a document issued by the seller of the goods and services and is a detailed document that reflects the goods and services subject to a value-added tax. According to the EU tax regulations, a VAT invoice has to be issued with 15 days of purchases.

A VAT invoice enables your business to charge EU customers the value-added tax and receive payments for them to remit to the government later.

For businesses in non-European Union countries who sell to customers in the EU, every good purchased into the EU countries should be charged a value-added tax. This is to ensure that every good bought into their country is taxed.

Charging VAT Invoice


Charging VAT Invoice

In order to charges business value-added tax, you need to follow these steps:

Have a Registered Business For EU Vat

Registering your business so you can be assigned a VAT number in one of the 28 countries that are members of the EU. You can choose a preferred country where you’d like to operate.

If you understand English, you are advised to register with an English speaking country. A country like England has English as her official language. To get a Mini One Stop Shop with a tax authority, you choose to register your VAT online. This process saves time, especially if you have customers in more than one EU country.

Confirm Customer Details

If your transaction is a business to business type, there’s no need to charge value-added tax. The only exception for you to charge value-added tax is when you operate a business-to-consumer trade.

Every European union business should have an assigned VAT number. If you’re dealing with an EU customer, request their VAT number and their proof of location, because the VAT rates may vary with countries. You’ll be provided with the rates of every country on the EU website.

Charge VAT Correctly to EU Customers

When you have a customer with a valid VAT number, there’s no need for you to include value-added tax in their invoices. Every business with value-added tax in the EU will be charged, as they are responsible for their own VAT.

Issue a VAt Invoice

If you have a business outside the European Union and you’re dealing with a customer within the EU, you are expected to send them a VAT invoice. The contents in a VAT invoice should include:

  • Your business name, logo, address, phone number, and email
  • An invoice number
  • Date of invoice
  • Your VAT number
  • Your customer’s contact information
  • The customer’s VAT number if applicable, if your customer has a VAT number, there’s need for you to include the text “EU VAT reverse charged” on the invoice
  • The VAT rate and the total amount you’re charging for your services
  • The total amount you’re expecting from the customer
  • Your preferred currency

Do not be confused as a VAT invoice is somewhat similar but different from the sales invoice.

On Quarterly Basis, Submit Vat Returns

As a business owner, you’ll need to tender all VAT returns to the appropriate regulators every quarter of the year. You can submit them online, or whichever way you want it. You have a deadline of 20 days to pay any outstanding VAT from each last day. The quarterly dates for submitting VAT are:

Q1: April 20, ending March 31

Q2: July 20, ending June 30

Q3: October 20, ending December 31

The VAT should be paid in the currency of the tax authority your business is registered with. For example, if you have a registered business in England, all your VAT returns will have to be converted to pounds. The European Central Bank has standard exchange rates for each foreign currency.

Purpose of VAT

Similar to the functions of other taxes, the purpose of VAT is to fund the government of the country through the raised revenue and also to facilitate another spending. Value-added tax is charged on goods and services, and as such, it brings income to the government by charging on the rate at which a consumer spends. VAT is a federal tax and is not easy for customers to evade, unlike some other taxes.

Where Does VAT Apply?

All countries that make up the European Union are mandated to pay value-added tax, though the rates can vary depending on the EU country. Value-added tax is also charged in other regions of the world. The USA is the sole OECD country that doesn’t charge value-added tax at a federal level.

If you wish to know more about VAT, check up the list of countries and the individual rates.

Difference Between VAT and Sales Tax

Difference Between VAT and Sales Tax

Value-added tax is taxable at every stage of the supply and is charged by every vendor, including manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. Sales tax is only charged by the supplier of goods at the end of supply when a customer receives their goods. Only the end customer is responsible for paying the sales tax while everyone involved in the supply chain pays value-added-tax. The sales tax paid by the customer is received by the supplier or retailer.

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