EU VAT Number

EU VAT Number for WooCommerce allows you to:

  • Collect and validate EU VAT numbers in checkout
  • Exempt businesses from paying VAT, if necessary
  • Collect and validate user location in B2C transactions
  • Handle EU Tax requirements for digital goods, as of January 1, 2015

Installation ↑ Back to top

To install:

  1. Download the .zip file from your WooCommerce account.
  2. Go to: WordPress Admin > Plugins > Add New and Upload Plugin using the file you downloaded with Choose File.
  3. Activate the extension.

More information at: Installing and Managing Plugins.

Setup and Configuration ↑ Back to top

To configure settings:

  1. Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Tax and scroll down the page.

2. EU VAT Number Handling

  • VAT Number Field Label – Shown to users at checkout. Default is VAT Number.
  • VAT Number Field Description – Shown below Label at checkout. Default is blank.
  • Remove VAT for Businesses in Your Base Country – If enabled, businesses with a valid number in your base country will be VAT exempt.
  • Failed Validation Handling – Tell the plugin what to do if a VAT number fails validation.
    • Reject the order and show an error
    • Accept the order without removing VAT
    • Accept the order and remove VAT as normal
  • Enable B2B Transactions –  This will force users to check out with a VAT Number, useful for sites that transact purely from B2B.

3. EU VAT Digital Goods Handling

EU VAT laws for digital goods changed on January 1, 2015, affecting B2C transactions only. VAT on digital goods must be calculated based on customer location, and store owners need to collect evidence of this via IP address and Billing Address.

There are two settings:

  • Tax Classes for Digital Goods – Select which of your Tax Classes is specifically for digital goods. This ensures the user is charged tax based on their Billing Address and not the base or shipping address that physical good taxes are often calculated with.
  • Collect and Validate Evidence – Tick the box to validate the user’s IP address against their billing country. If they mismatch, the user is required to confirm their address is correct (self-declaration). Data is stored in the order.

4. Save changes.

Set up EU VAT rates for digital goods ↑ Back to top

For EU VAT on digital goods, you need to input VAT rates into WooCommerce. We have a guide for this at: Setting up EU VAT Rates for Digital Products.

Checkout Process ↑ Back to top

The checkout process varies depending on the type of customer.

*Customers located outside the EU will see no fields because they are out of scope for EU VAT.

EU Based B2B Transactions ↑ Back to top

Businesses fill out the VAT Number field that appears in the billing section of checkout:

VAT Number Field
VAT Number Field

The system then validates the number via our EU VAT Number Validation API, which takes data from VIES.

If it matches, a VAT exemption is done automatically. If it fails to validate, the user sees an error:


EU Based B2C Transactions ↑ Back to top

If you configured the plugin to handle EU VAT Digital Goods for rules implemented in January 2015, the checkout process differs slightly if the cart contains a digital (non-shippable, virtual) product.

First, the IP address is validated against the billing country behind the scenes.

  • If this matches, it is stored as evidence of the user’s location.
  • If it doesn’t match, a checkbox to confirm location appears.
Self-declared Location
Self-declared Location

This is required to place the order. Failure to confirm returns an error:


Customers can view and modify their VAT number on their My Accounts page. The VAT number country must match the country in the billing address.

Viewing Collected Data ↑ Back to top

Collected data displays in several locations in Admin.

  • In the order list, it shows an overview of collected data:
Order Column
Order Column
  • In the order view, it shows a meta box with the information:
Meta box
Meta box
  • In the order addresses, VAT Numbers are automatically appended to the end of formatted addresses:

Note for developers: VAT Numbers are stored in a meta field named _vat_number (and VAT Number for backwards compatibility).

Reports ↑ Back to top

EU VAT Number adds two reports to the reporting section at WooCommerce > Reports that may be useful.

  • Reports > Taxes > EC Sales List – Lists countries and order amounts from EU-based B2B customers grouped by VAT number.
  • Reports > Taxes > EU VAT by State – Shows taxes collected and order amounts grouped by Country.

Each report has pre-set ranges to view data by quarter.

Customization ↑ Back to top

Note: We are unable to provide support for customizations under our Support Policy. If you are unfamiliar with code/templates and resolving potential conflicts, select a WooExpert or Developer  for assistance.

Choosing what countries will see the VAT number field ↑ Back to top

As of v2.3.6 you can use the woocommerce_eu_vat_number_country_codes filter to choose what countries the VAT number field should be shown for
— here’s a working example in which the field will only be show to customers in Belgium:

Questions & Support ↑ Back to top

Have a question before you buy? Please fill out this pre-sales form.

Already purchased and need some assistance? Get in touch with a Happiness Engineer via the Help Desk.

WooCommerce - the most customizable eCommerce platform for building your online business.

Back to the top