The title is pretty self-explanatory. What is the difference between these three? From what I can tell these are almost the same.

  • Yes, I did more than just google them. But it keeps confusing me. However, it's important to me to know the difference. – Tristan .L Feb 3 '17 at 14:25
  • There is an wikipedia article (also in English) that answers this question.... – Iris Feb 3 '17 at 14:26
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is not a question about German Language (it's a question about laws and bureaucracy, not about language). – Hubert Schölnast Feb 3 '17 at 16:10
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    @HubertSchölnast: It's a question about vocabulary. And the very fact that it is vocabulary tightly coupled to laws and bureaucracy unfortunately means that 1) typical language learning material does not cover it and 2) explanations of the terms are often unsuitable for language learners, as they are usually intended for allowing people to use the concepts in some way rather than just understand what the words mean, and therefore rely heavily on related bureaucracy terms and concepts. Hence, I think this is a very good language question. – O. R. Mapper Feb 3 '17 at 21:40

In a nutshell,


Is the Austrian official term


The German official term



The EU German official term for the same thing (who said that it should be simple?), the EU English term is

VAT number

And all denominate a unique identifier for someone (a fiscal entity) who is officially entitled to charge and be charged by the national administration with VAT.

  • In case of a German webshop selling to more countries than Germany. Would it be better to pick USt-IdNr, or MwSt-Nummer? – Tristan .L Feb 3 '17 at 14:27
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    This is very probably not a German language question - But a German web shop operating from Germany under German law is obviously required to follow German fiscal regulations and should thus use the terms stated by those. – tofro Feb 3 '17 at 14:31
  • I suppose you're right. My apologies. I still appreciate your input. I will look into the fiscal regulations. My initial question has been answered properly. Just to be sure, these names are all referring to the same kind of number, right? – Tristan .L Feb 3 '17 at 14:35
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    They refer not only to the same kind of number, but rather to the same number. – tofro Feb 3 '17 at 14:50

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