VAT number – What is a VAT number?

Updated on June 28, 2022

Every VAT-registered business is given a unique identification number, known as a VAT number.

When should you produce a VAT invoice? Find out in this guide.

Only enterprises that are registered for VAT are issued VAT numbers, which are used for tax purposes. It is also usually referred to as a VAT registration number (VRN) or a VAT identification number (VIN).

You can have multiple VAT numbers, as long as they’re distinct from your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) or your Company Registration Number (CRN).

Why do I need a VAT registration number (VRN)?

In order to identify VAT-registered firms, a VRN serves as a reference number. As a result, you may require a VAT number in a number of different tax-related scenarios.

VAT Returns and VAT numbers

Registering for VAT necessitates reporting your VAT on a regular basis throughout the tax year, either manually on HMRC’s website or through an authorised Making Tax Digital programme.

You must include your VAT registration number on your VAT return so that HMRC may verify whether or not you have met your VAT reporting responsibilities for the relevant time periods.

How to get a VAT number

A VAT number is provided to you when you register for VAT. A VAT registration certificate will be delivered to you as soon as you’ve finished the VAT registration process, confirming your VAT number, the date of your first VAT return, and your ‘effective date of registration” (which is either the date your VAT taxable turnover crossed the VAT threshold or the date you requested to register voluntarily).

How to check a VAT number

Use the right VAT number to avoid problems with your VAT returns in the future. Using an erroneous VAT number

Therefore, it’s important to verify that the VAT number provided by a customer is legitimate and accurate anytime you sell to a customer who has provided their VAT number, put your VAT number on a bill or send your VAT number to a supplier.

UK businesses can easily and accurately check their tax ID numbers by visiting the UK government’s official website.

VAT number format

Each country has its own unique VAT number type, length, and structure. EU VAT registration numbers always begin with two letters that identify the nation and a series of numbers.

‘GB’ is followed by nine numbers in VAT numbers in England, Scotland, and Wales. ‘GB123456789’ is an example of a VRN that adheres to the UK VAT number format.

The prefix “XI” will be used instead of GB if your business is located in Northern Ireland and trades to the EU. XI123456789 is an example of this.