Help support TMP

"What is Australia's VAT number?" Topic

22 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Consumer Affairs Message Board

15,239 hits since 18 Dec 2009
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

McWong7318 Dec 2009 11:00 p.m. PST

Looking to make a sizable order from an Italian vendor, and living in Australia I've asked to not have VAT added. I've been asked for the VAT number for Australia – anyone got any ideas what that would be?

I've googled the subject and haven't had a lot of specific luck as to what the number is though I do now have a better understanding of EU tax!

artaxerxes Inactive Member18 Dec 2009 11:26 p.m. PST

Didn't know there was one! I *thought* the deal was that VAT was waived if goods were shipped to an address outside that jurisdiction.

Spectacle Inactive Member18 Dec 2009 11:32 p.m. PST

Such "VAT numbers" are only supposed to be used for business-to-business transactions inside the EU, so I'm guessing the poor vendor has no idea how to do the paperwork for deducting VAT from out of EU exports.

McWong7318 Dec 2009 11:40 p.m. PST

Interesting. They've specifi8cally said they can only wave the VAT if I supply a VAT number (and that it was an Italian requirement). The payment, made by Paypal I thought would of been enough to prove I was in Australia. The shipping address will be Australia if that wasn't good enough. But they're insisting I supply this number.

I don't want to say anything to indicate the vendor is bad, he's been a real sport so far. But I don't want to pay EU taces when I don't have to.

Top Gun Ace Inactive Member18 Dec 2009 11:44 p.m. PST

I'm not surprised by that at all.

My guess is that the requirement is probably legit, and is stacked against you (and other non-EU customers) on purpose.

I shall refrain from commenting further, in order to avoid irritating other well-meaning Italians, but they will know what I mean, I imagine.

borrible Inactive Member19 Dec 2009 12:45 a.m. PST


As far as I understand there is no need to charge vat on goods send from EU member countries to non-members.
You can google from there should your time be worth the money and the hassle with italien bureaucracy and its probable poor italien victim, your vendor.

fred12df19 Dec 2009 2:39 a.m. PST

VAT numbers are only for EU countries – and are only needed by companies over a certain turnover level (about 65k a year in the UK).

For exports outside the EU, then the shipping + invoice address should be sufficient to get VAT waived.

It may be more difficult in practice due to difficulties with invoicing software and with the paperwork required by the vendor.

vexillia Inactive Member19 Dec 2009 2:51 a.m. PST

[1] There is no VAT number for Australia as it's not a member of the EU and countries don't have VAT numbers.

[2] All Italian businesses must be registered for VAT (or IVA) which is levied at 20%.

[3] Goods are zero-rated when exported outside the EU or to a VAT registered business within another EU country.

[4] A delivery address outside the EU is sufficient for proof of export.

[5] It's the suppliers job to get the paperwork right.

I suspect the retailer doesn't do a lot of business outside the EU, is unfamiliar with the rules and is solely looking to cover themselves against a future VAT / IVA liability.

Martin Stephenson
Vexillia: Wargames Miniatures & Accessories

McWong7319 Dec 2009 3:52 a.m. PST

Thank you all for your responses. I guess it becomes a question of whether or not I want to take the 20% hit plus the 30% postage. Shame for the guy really, it's a great range that I was about to spend big on.

fairoaks024 Inactive Member19 Dec 2009 4:40 a.m. PST

Martin is spot on, I had a business that sent goods outside the EU regularly and the rules are as stated.



CFeicht Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2009 7:15 a.m. PST


GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP19 Dec 2009 8:01 a.m. PST

He may be looking for the 'country code' or some such value. There is an entry for that on some of the customs forms but, as Martin says, it shouldn't be needed for removing VAT.

erik the arab Inactive Member19 Dec 2009 9:58 a.m. PST

As I have been busy, establishing myself with Figures In Comfort, I have had to take an unhealthy interest in this issue!
The supplier should not charge VAT on non-EU countries and is exactly as Martin says it should be. The purchaser has no requirements or liabilities in doing this, the supplier has all the 'paperwork' to do.
In fact my accountant advised me that it could mean some interesting questions from Her Majesties Inland Revenue for me if I charged VAT where I should not be!


McWong7319 Dec 2009 11:21 p.m. PST

Is VAT included in the listed price (like the GST is here in AUS) or is it like US sales tax and applied at the point of sale?

SpaceCudet Inactive Member20 Dec 2009 3:26 p.m. PST

Is VAT included in the listed price (like the GST is here in AUS) or is it like US sales tax and applied at the point of sale?

If the items are generally sold to individuals then VAT is included in the price. If they are targeted at businesses then the VAT is excluded from the advertised price. There are fuzzy areas (such as PCs) where both prices are given.

McWong7320 Dec 2009 5:54 p.m. PST

Definitely a consumer transaction. Basically I'm trying to buy an Arab FoG army from Legio Heroica. Great figures, but Gus is insisting that the Italian govt will only allow a VAT free transaction if I provide Australia's VAT number – which we know does not exist. Again I should say I've yet to see any evidence that Gus and LH are being anything but above board.

I've contacted the EU delegation in Australia as the Italian consulate and embassy do not speak to people on the phone (and it seems don't answer emails either).

Anyone know of anyone else stocking the Legio Heroica arab range?

nsolomon9920 Dec 2009 6:45 p.m. PST

If all they need is a number for the Form then give 'em your post code as a number – call it "Australia's VAT Number" – you're after the figures not stupid paperwork for governments.

Merry Christmas,

Nick (who finds stupid government paperwork a silly waste of valuable time – regardless of the government or location)

artaxerxes Inactive Member20 Dec 2009 7:05 p.m. PST

Doesn't Vexillia stock Legio Heroica? At least, they did at one stage. I've always found them (Vexillia) very easy and reliable to deal with from the other side of the world.

McWong7320 Dec 2009 9:08 p.m. PST

Vexillia dropped them earlier, a shame as they've got a very good rep here in Australia.

Reader Name 001 Inactive Member21 Dec 2009 8:30 a.m. PST

Vexillia is correct.

Gus is insisting that the Italian govt will only allow a VAT free transaction if I provide Australia's VAT number

You could ask him to talk with Claudio from Baueda ( ) He speaks good english and understands how euro VAT works in Italy as he sends stuff to me without charging VAT.

McWong7321 Dec 2009 4:03 p.m. PST

I'm going to go with Nick's idea and give him my postcode, he's told me that he can't do it without the number so I will make one up.

Marcus Brutus24 Dec 2009 11:52 a.m. PST

My suspicion is that the 20% VAT is pure profit for the company. They do not have to report the tax since there is no tax on shipments outside of Europe. Works the same way in Canada.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.