There are many reasons you may feel the need to carry out a UK VAT number check.
Here are two really simple ways that I use to carry out a VAT registration number check:
1. Call HMRC and Ask Them To Do a UK VAT Registration Number Check on your Behalf
If you call the HMRC VAT Helpline on 0300 200 3700, HMRC will do a VAT registration number check for you.
They do this check straight away over the phone. Although you may find yourself on hold waiting for them to take your call!
2. Check a UK VAT Registration Number on the VIES Website
The European Commission operates a database where it keeps a record of VAT numbers for everyone who is VAT registered in every EC Country.
The information is publicly available and is the simplest way to do a VAT Number Check.
To check a UK VAT registration number, go to the European Commission website and choose the country code (two letters at the start of the VAT registration number) and enter the VAT number you have.
If the VAT Registration Number You Check is Valid
If the number is valid you will have the following information returned to you from the database:
- Member State
- VAT Registration Number
- Full Company Name
- Trading Address
If the VAT Registration Number You Check is NOT Valid
If the number you have entered does not correspond to any VAT number the European Commission hold on their database then you will receive a message saying
‘No, invalid VAT number for cross border transactions within the EU ‘
What To Do If You Have Been Given an Invalid UK VAT Number
Accidents happen. So if you carry a VAT registration number check and the results come back as not valid, then go back to the person who gave it to you to double check what you have.
If they are unwilling or insist that their VAT number is correct then:
- Ask them to double check with their accountant, Director or in their online business account;
- Consider reporting them to HMRC by phoning 0300 200 3700.
Why is a Valid UK VAT Registration Number So Important
If you have received an invoice from a supplier which includes VAT, you can only claim back the VAT you pay if THEY have a valid VAT Number.
This means it is really important that if you have any doubt or are suspicious about the validity of a VAT Registration Number it is very much in your interests to check it and take appropriate steps if you find out it is incorrect.