How to check your client’s VAT registration number is correct?

Updated on July 18, 2022

Please be aware that we do not have the ability to confirm the validity of VAT numbers.

There are two options for verifying UK and EU VAT registration numbers: utilizing VIES, a Europa website, or calling the HMRC VAT Helpline.

HMRC may deny your claim for input tax credits if you fail to verify the validity of the supplier’s VAT number while setting up a new purchase ledger account.
The VAT number is especially critical when dealing with sales to firms in the other EU Member States, because if you get it wrong, you can’t zero-rate the transaction.

Many of these occurrences may be the result of simple mistakes, such as typos in the printing.

The use of another trader’s number for fraudulent purposes is common in some industries, therefore checking is a good idea.

HMRC has just updated Notice 725, The Single Market, which provides a handy checklist, as shown in the table below.

Examining the VAT data from the United Kingdom and other EU member states

Identifiers for VAT registration

To verify the validity of a UK VAT number, you need first ensure that it is at least 9 digits in length.

There is no mention of the GB at the beginning, therefore this does not include the GB. First 7 digits are random, while the last 2 digits are based on a formula that uses the first 7 numbers to calculate the final two.

See also  What is the difference between VAT/GST and sales tax?

The VAT Helpline number is 0845 010 9000 and the VIES website is customs/vies/ for verifying UK and EU VAT registration numbers.

A collection of the latest HMRC VAT registration numbers

An updated Notice 725, The Single Market, issued by HMRC provides firms with an easy-to-use checklist (see below) for spotting inaccurate VAT registration numbers. You may access the entire document by clicking here.

Please get in touch with us.
As a London-based group of chartered accountants and tax experts, we can provide a wide range of VAT services for your company.

If you have any questions about VAT for your business, or if you’d like to learn more about our VAT services, please don’t hesitate to contact our VAT specialist.

Please be aware that we do not have the ability to confirm the validity of VAT numbers.

Using the link to the Europa website VIES or calling the HMRC VAT Helpline is the best way to verify UK and EU VAT registration numbers.

Code of the Member State

VAT Number Format

The total number of words in a sentence
At U12345678, Austria
Nine (BE 0123456789) of Belgium
Tenth country: Bulgaria BG 012345678
The island nation of Cyprus has a population of 9 or 10. (see paragraph 2.4 for extent of VAT territory)
(3) CY 12345678X
CZ 12345678 or 123456789 or 1234567890 8 or 9 or 10
Denmark DK 12345678 8 \sEstonia EE 123456789
There were nine countries in the top eight: Finland (FI 12345678), France (FR 12345678901), Sweden (FI 12345678), and Germany (DE 12345678).
(6) DE 123456789 (6) Germany (6)
9 \sGreece EL 012345678
9 \sHungary
8 IE 1234567X or 1X23456X (8) Ireland (7)
8 \sItaly IT 12345678901
11 Lithuania LT 123456789 or 123456789012 LV 123456789
It’s either nine or twelve.
Luxemburg (LU) 12345678 8 Malta (MT) 12345678 8 Netherlands (NL)
12 \sPoland
PL 1234567890
10 \sPortugal PT 123456789 9 \sRomania
2 to 10 digits RO 01234567890 2 to 10
SK 1234567890 10 Slovenia SI 12345678 8 Spain (9) ES X12345678 or 12345678X or X1234567X 9 Sweden SE 123456789001
There are a total of 12 notes to this table.
U is always the first letter of a word or phrase.
Prior to 1 April 2005, there were nine digits. Use ‘0’ as a prefix to any nine-digit numbers.
An uppercase letter is required for the final character.
Delete the first three digits of 11, 12, or 13 numbers, as these are tax codes.
It is possible to include alpha characters, either first, second, or both. Except for I and O, all alphanumeric characters are acceptable. It has to be the 11-character TVA number, not the 14-character SERIT number.
The nine-character Umsatzsteuer Identifikationsnummer (ust – Id Nr) is required, not the ten-character Umsatzsteuernummer.
Last or second and last alpha characters are included.
Only one letter can be found after B. The three-digit suffix ranges from B01 to B99.
Alpha characters can be either first or last; they can also be both first and last.