VAT ID checker: function, prerequisite, application, and liability
The VAT ID Checker Excel Add-In is a complementary software module in the sense of an add-in or plug-in (hereinafter also referred to as the “Software"), which is integrated into an existing MS Office Excel application of the Licensee.
The Online VAT ID Verifier is a SaaS-based web application for the confirmation of VAT ID numbers.
The licensee’s system requirements for using the Excel add-in licensed software are current Windows operating systems with current Microsoft Office. For the online auditor, a current Windows with a web browser is the prerequisite and an Internet connection.
The software enables the bundled collection of multiple confirmations of EU foreign VAT identification numbers via the interface of the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt). The software enables the licensee to check the validity of several EU-foreign VAT identification numbers via the XML RPC interface of the BZSt and to check several German as well as EU-foreign VAT identification numbers via the interface of the European Commission (VAT Information Exchange System – VIES), each in bundled form. The check results are reported by the software in the bundled form in an Excel format. The licensee can also use the software to request free postal confirmations that are possible for BZSt inquiries (but not for MIAS verification inquiries).
The software does not expand the examination and information services of the BZSt or the MIAS or their availability, neither in terms of content nor in terms of technology. The checks themselves are carried out by the systems of the BZSt and the VIES within the scope of their functionalities and their availability. The terms and conditions of use of the systems of the BZSt and the VIES shall also apply to the Licensee in an unchanged manner when using the Software.
The use of the software also does not influence the content of the confirmation messages of the systems of the BZSt and the VIES. From a technical point of view, however, the test results in the software are not shown as a letter code (as in the systems of the BZSt and the VIES), but as a color code, i.e. a color-letter assignment takes place through the software. The licensor, however, is not liable for the factual or content-related correctness of the data returned by the BZSt or MIAS systems. With regard to the legal assessment and tax implications of the respective confirmation notifications, the Licensee must also contact the tax office responsible for its taxation procedure.
If the licensee uses the software to obtain a so-called qualified digital confirmation from the BZSt, the electronic response from the BZSt is secured by the software as follows: a digital signature in the form of a qualified time stamp based on IDW Standard PS880 is applied to a PDF file previously generated by the software. The signed PDF file contains a text file with the interface calls transmitted electronically to the BZSt and an XML file with the response data records transmitted by the BZSt. [The insertion of the test result into the PDF template takes place on the licensor’s server, which is located in Germany and managed by German operating companies].
The legal relationship between the licensee and the respective audit institutions BZSt or European Commission/ VIES remains unaffected by the conclusion of the license via the software.
Notes on the systems of the BZSt or VIES (as of May 2020):
The BZSt forwards the confirmation requests in each case in real time directly and automatically to the authorities of the respective EU member states. The BZSt has no influence on this data. It merely communicates the results transmitted by the EU member states. Via the BZSt interface, the licensee can have the validity of a foreign VAT identification number confirmed on a daily basis, if available.
The verification of the VAT number via VIES is also carried out in real time. Any request for the validity of a VAT number goes directly to the Member State that assigned the number. At certain times, parts of the system may not be accessible due to backup or maintenance of the Member States’ databases.
The data originates from the databases of the individual member states, the content of which is beyond the control as well as the responsibility of the licensor, the Federal Central Tax Office, or the European Commission. The Member States are responsible for the completeness, correctness, and up-to-dateness of the national databases.
Malfunctions due to technical errors at the Federal Central Tax Office or VIES cannot be excluded. The Licensor accepts no responsibility for the fact that access to the websites of the BZSt or the VIES may be interrupted or otherwise disturbed due to technical faults of any kind. Any liability of the Licensee for any problems arising from the use of this website or external websites linked to it is excluded.
The determination of company data is dependent on the respective EU member state and can only be offered by the systems as long as the member state does not revoke or make it unavailable. If a member state does not provide this functionality, Licensor is not liable for it.
The structuring of the company data into separate fields in the systems of the BZSt or VIES is not binding due to the non-nominated structuring of the data of the respective member states and the licensor is not liable for the correctness of the returned data, for these the licensee should execute a qualified confirmation afterward to check the correctness.
Scope of License, License Term
Unless otherwise agreed between Licensee and Licensor on a case-by-case basis, the following provisions shall apply to the scope and term of the license:
The Licensor grants the Licensee the non-exclusive right to use the Software for a period of one year.
The Software is provided to the Licensee by download, USB stick or as a CD.
The Software is intended for use (within the scope of the intended product description) by the Licensee.
For the granting of the right of use a remuneration for a license is to be paid in advance.
The license is limited to up to 10,000 test procedures per year.
The licensee acquires a certain number of licenses according to the ordered and paid license keys. The licensee may install a maximum number of purchased licenses on one computer and use them by one user at the same time. The license key purchased for a Software may not be used on a second computer.
The Software may only be used at one location in one country, on one computer of the Licensee, and by one user at the same time.
The Licensor offers a free 7-day trial version of the Software with limited functionality. The trial version allows you to perform up to 20 checks per day for 7 days. No maintenance is offered for this software. As far as maintenance services should be provided, these are done as a gesture of goodwill and can be discontinued at any time.
The test version is also intended for commercial use only and may be installed on one computer and used by one user only. A transfer to third parties is excluded.
Activation of the software
The activation of the full version takes place in such a way that the licensee is sent an email with the license key after the conclusion of the contract for the software. Afterward the licensee can activate and use the software.
Through the activation, a unique ID of the computer on which the Software was installed is transmitted to the Licensor in order to assign this copy of the Software to a specific computer. This is to prevent multiple uses of software that do not comply with the license terms. During activation, no personal data is collected that would allow the user of the computer or the computer to be identified. The collected data will be used exclusively for the purpose of activation.
The licensee is aware that the purchased license key will be randomly matched and verified against the assigned license keys for accuracy.
Changes in the hardware configuration or the software of the computer require a new activation of the software.
When replacing the computer for which the software key was activated, reactivation of the software for a new computer is required.
When replacing an existing license key, the old license key will be erased and a new one with the same duration will be created. This process can be accomplished by contacting Optimus Software Support directly.
In case of a terminal server installation (Citrix and similar) or a virtual environment, a license must be purchased for each user (connected via remote desktop or otherwise).
Scope of use
The right of use is limited to the following acts of use within the scope of the contractual use:
– the installation of the software on the intended computer(s)
– the use of the program according to the intended scope as per the product description
– necessary actions within the scope of error correction
– temporal use for the period of one year years.
– A maximum audit volume up to 10,000 operations per year for a standard license and 120,000 operations per year for an enterprise license. We also reserve the right to define individual licenses and usage volumes.
– Purchasing multiple single-user licenses will not increase the audit volume, but only the number of workstations (for higher volume, Enterprise license is provided).
Availability of the licensor’s website
The Licensor does not guarantee the availability of his website, certain download offers (updates, manuals, freeware, etc.), as well as the support system.
Backup of installation file/license number
The licensee has to backup his installation files and his license number, because they are needed for a new installation.