VAT number – What is a VAT number?

Updated on June 10, 2022

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

Find out more about VAT invoices and when they are required.

Only VAT-registered firms receive 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, and none of them will conflict with your Unique Taxpayer Reference or your Company Registration Number.

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

A VRN is used to track down VAT-registered companies. Consequently, you may find yourself in need of a VAT number in a number of tax-related scenarios.

VAT Returns and VAT numbers

Your VAT must be reported to HMRC on a regular basis throughout the tax year, either manually or through authorised Making Tax Digital software.

So that HMRC can determine which VAT reporting periods are due and if you have met your reporting duties, you must submit your VAT registration number when completing your tax return.

How to get a VAT number

A VAT number will be provided to you once you’ve completed the VAT registration process. A VAT registration certificate will be delivered to you after the registration process is complete, 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).

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How to check a VAT number

Your VAT Returns may be affected if you use the wrong VAT number..

As a result, it’s a good idea to double-check that the VAT number provided by a client is genuine and accurate anytime you sell to a client, put your VAT number on an invoice, or give your VAT number to an outside source.

Obtaining a UK company’s VAT number is the quickest and most precise way to do it.

VAT number format

Different countries have different VAT number formats, lengths, and structures. All EU VAT registration numbers have two letters that identify the country and a sequence of numbers.

‘GB’ is followed by nine numbers in VAT numbers in England, Scotland, and Wales. One possible VRN format is ‘GB123456789,’ which is based on the UK VAT number format.

As an alternative to “GB,” companies in Northern Ireland that do business with the EU must begin their product names with the prefix “XI”. For instance, XI123456789.