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VIES: what is it and how to register

The VIES list, also known as the "VIES Authorisation", is a system for the exchange of data and information of a fiscal nature between the Member States of the European Union.

VIES stands for "VAT Information Exchange System", for which VAT stands for "Value added tax". 

The VIES is a tool established by EU tax legislation in order to combat fraud, evasion and tax avoidance, allowing automatic exchange of information between the financial administrations of EU Member States to verify in real time the existence, and regularity, of a Community VAT number.

The obligation to register with VIES exists for all "VAT subjects who carry out business, art or profession activities in the territory of the State, or establish a permanent establishment there".

Registration on the VIES list is free and can be done directly by the taxpayer through the website of the Revenue Agency: Registration VIES archive

The purpose of VIES is to allow verification of the correctness and validity of a VAT identification number assigned by one of the 27 European Union countries. Therefore, once the VAT identification number to be verified has been entered and the Member State that assigned it has been chosen, a textual description of the outcome of the verification will be obtained in response, which may assume the following values:

Valid VAT Code
The VAT identification number entered is formally correct and corresponds to a trader authorised for intra-Community purposes;

VAT code Invalid or incorrect 
The VAT identification number entered is either 'invalid' because it is not included in the database of authorised persons or formally incorrect, i.e. it does not comply with the algorithm envisaged by the selected Member State.
For more information on intra-Community VAT numbers, please visit the website of the Revenue Agency: VIES

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