A UK client needs to pay approx 113 EUR for my services. I am registered as a freelancer here in Germany, is it ok to issue an invoice without any sort of tax ID number,apparently they do not even have a self employed ID number.

  • Yes it is fine. Just use their name and address on the invoice.
    – PaulD
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 21:12
  • 1
    Thanks all, you are most kind. So, i spoke with the promoter and he said they are not registered as a company and none of them are registered as self employed, so i cannot get any company number or any sort of Tax ID, I have issued the invoice with just their name, address and contact details, hoping this will be sufficient. Will get the invoice paid via bank transfer, also hoping this stands up, in case of being audited in the future.
    – Rach
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 12:32

3 Answers 3


You should talk to your tax adviser. If you invoice a client from another EU country, you have to submit a "recapitulative statement" (Zusammenfassende Meldung). For this statement you will need the VAT number of your client. More information can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/faq.html#item_9

This will probably not be necessary if your client is not a company but a private person. But even in this case, contact your tax adviser! There is also the question of whether you have to add VAT to the invoice total, which depends on the kind of service/product your were selling. More can be found here: http://europa.eu/youreurope/business/vat-customs/cross-border/index_en.htm

If you are just writing an invoice to a client in another EU country without knowing the regulation you are most certainly doing it wrong.


If you have the UK company name and address, you can find their details at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house if they are an incorporated entity (ie, if it's not just a person who is self-employed).

A UK company will not have a 'tax number' as such, but they will have a Company Number if they're incorporated (ie, if their name ends in Limited, Ltd, plc, etc). You can find that at the above link. They may have a VAT number, which you will absolutely need if you are claiming back VAT.

If it's a person who is self-employed, all the information is irrelevant. They may have a VAT number, or may not. Just use their name and address.


Just so I can confirm...

A UK Company owes your German self money?

If true, then correct, they do not need to provide anything. They should invoice you (meaning, they should send you a bill - a simple word document will suffice, with their name, address and bank details on it). Make the payment electronically so there is an audit. Not in cash, the German taxman will think you made a false invoice and pocketed the cash.

Tell your customer that you need it in case you get audited for tax. Be pleasant so you can both avoid misunderstanding. Some Brits will think your request is eurocratic but in reality, you are both right. Your customer does not know German requirements, nor do you know British norms.

If you are paying out regular sum's of money then additional paperwork would prove helpful in case the German tax man audits your books. But 5% or less of your yearly revenue paid into another European bank account should be acceptable.

I understand your concern - remember going forward if you have future foreign relationships that you get a copy of something that says who they are. It can be a photocopy of an ID card or drivers license for example, or their memorandum and articles (every UK company has one). Always pay electronically so there is an audit trail. If you dont get an invoice, create your own so that the tax man knows you are doing your best to ensure an audit trail is kept. That way, if you do do something wrong, they'll just ask you to pay what is owed without a fine.

I hope that helps - best of luck.

  • 1
    If they are a company they would have company reg. no. Asking for ID in the UK would seem eurocratic too and would lose you customers. There is no UK id that you have to have. You do not have to have a driving licence, or a passport. I for one would not send a photocopy of either of those documents anywhere for any reason.
    – PaulD
    Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 23:23
  • If the UK company owes me money (for example), they should NOT invoice me. I should invoice them.
    – PeteCon
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 15:34
  • Pete this UK client needs to pay approx 113 EUR Paul: A Services Company cannot just pay anyone and not leave an audit trail. You can get away with doing this for petty cash, hence why I said less than 5% of total revenue or dealing with regular small sum's of cash like a hairdressers or newsagents. If a sizeable number of expenses for an IT company were paid out without an audit trail and each of them in the multiple of hundred euros, the tax man might query the transactions. Hence an audit trail of some sort is required that will stand up to some scrutiny.
    – fiprojects
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 19:40
  • Someone has been discourteous to vote down my answer without further explanation. I believe my answer still to be valid. You can send invoices to whoever you want - not every entity who receives an invoice will have a tax number. A tax audit however could lead to the tax man wanting more information related to transactions going to or from your business. The more evidence you have builds an audit trail. Typically however, the tax office is more interested in who you pay money to and less interested in who you receive money from.
    – fiprojects
    Commented Nov 21, 2016 at 15:20
  • Surprisingly someone else has voted this down. I've run my own UK Limited company for 20+ years and I have been self employed in Germany for near five years. I have accredited accountants do my tax filing. In all this time, my UK company has had more than one audit, and my German self employed has had tax audit. All my invoices stood up to scrutiny. It might explain why I'm at a loss why the answer was voted down without comment.
    – fiprojects
    Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 19:17

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