VAT number (BTW nummer)


E-commerce legislation obliges me to make my VAT (BTW) number permanently accessible to every visitor of my website. I wish I could do so. However, as every one-man business, I was appointed a VAT number consisting of my Citizen Service Number (CSN or BSN), with the addition of B01.

The CSN is a highly private number connecting numerous registrations related to the data subject’s personal life. This concerns not only government registrations, but also for example registrations in the health care sector. Therefore, the use of the CSN is heavily regulated and subject to vast restrictions under applicable data protection law. Publication on a website is contrary to this.

The VAT number is of a rather public nature. Applicable law obliges entrepreneurs to publish their VAT number in various places. By appointing a VAT number consisting of the CSN, the Dutch Tax Authority infringes fundamental data protection rights and forces citizens to publish their CSN.

I am in the process of getting the Dutch Tax Authority to assign me another VAT number. This may take a while, as I don’t expect the Tax Authority to easily admit its infringement. But as soon as I have a new VAT number, I will publish it on the website. In the meantime, I will be publishing on this subject.