How and Why You Need to Verify a VAT Number

Updated on July 20, 2022

When doing business with a corporation, always do your due diligence and conduct your research first.

With DueDil, you’ll get an in-depth look at a company’s turnover, earnings and assets. However, you can get some background information by simply doing a simple Google search.

The VAT number of every business you do business with must be verified, no matter how cautious you are.

What is a VAT number?

In order to pay VAT, a company must have a unique VAT number, or VAT registration number.

VAT registration certificates, which are given by HMRC, list a company’s VAT registration number. Invoices produced by other companies should also list their respective VAT registration numbers.

What does a VAT number look like?

You should know that UK VAT numbers are nine digits long and frequently begin with the letters ‘GB,’ if you’re new to the VAT system.

Visit the EU’s official website to learn more about the format and style of VAT numbers.

Why it’s important to check a VAT number

HMRC may refuse your tax input claim if you fail to double-check a VAT number on your return, resulting in an incorrect invoice and a significant amount of paperwork for you to deal with.

Mistakes with tax numbers are common, but some people try to exploit someone else’s number for their own purposes, which is illegal.

As it turns out, it’s not that difficult to run a simple diagnostic test. Make sure to follow the instructions below to avoid any problems.

How to perform a VAT registration check

VAT registration checks in the United Kingdom can be done in two ways. You have the option of:

On 0300 200 3700, contact the HMRC VAT Helpline. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, except on holidays.
A VAT checker for firms in Europe can be found on the VIES website, which can be accessed online.

The VAT systems of various member states provide real-time data feeds for this website.
It’s a good idea to double-check your VAT number if the website indicates that it’s invalid. Please let them know that the VIES site is showing the number as invalid, so that they may contact HMRC to get it fixed.