How To Check If A Company Is Vat Registered

Are you looking for more information regarding VAT numbers, here’s an in-depth article where you can find more information regarding UK VAT numbers. We also have a list of the best VAT chartered accountants in London.

What Is A VAT Registration Number?

A VAT number stands for Value Added Tax and is a unique code issued by the HMRC to businesses registered to pay VAT. Every VAT registered business has a unique VAT number, which means they will add a VAT price to the products and services they provide.

Why Is A VAT Number Important?

If a company is registered for VAT, they can reclaim VAT they are charged by other businesses whether it’s for the goods or services supplied. This is why it’s especially important for a company to ensure that the VAT number is valid from the get-go. An invalid VAT number will not only lead to HMRC rejecting the claim but will also prevent you to reclaim VAT you are entitled to. No doubt this can result in a hefty bill as well as a mountain of tedious paperwork.

How To Check A Vat Number Is Valid?

There are two reliable methods that can be used to check whether a VAT number is valid. These include:

Calling the HMRC VAT helpline

You can contact HMRC VAT helpline on 0300 200 3700. They have an entire database of VAT registered businesses, which can quickly help resolve any concerns, however, it is only applicable to businesses within the UK.

Visiting the VIES website

Another method is to use the European Commission’s VIES system, also known as the VAT Information Exchange System. This is an online checker that enables you to check the VAT validity of businesses in the European Union (EU) as well as UK-registered businesses. The vies service is run by the European Commission and uses real-time data feeds from VAT systems of individual member states.

Please note that if an invalid VAT number shows, we advise that you double-check with the company that the number issued is correct. Otherwise, they may need to contact HMRC to resolve this.

VAT Thresholds

It is quite easy to identify whether or not a business requires a VAT number. The threshold is in fact based on their VAT taxable turnover – the total value of everything they sell or supply that is not VAT exempt. The UK law states that if a business’s VAT total turnover exceeds £85,000, or will so in the near future, they are legally required to register

However, we understand that circumstances may vary depending on the nature of the business. If a business is set to exceed the VAT taxable limit temporarily, then they may be to apply for an exception by contacting HMRC directly.

There is also voluntary registration for those businesses that are partly exempt and are expecting to exceed the VAT taxable limit.

VAT Cash Accounting Scheme Thresholds

The cash accounting VAT scheme is a strategic method of recording VAT on the basis of payments issued or received rather than tax invoices that have been issued or received. To join this scheme, the company’s VAT taxable turnover must be £1.35 million or less.

VAT Number In The Drop-down Box

A VAT number consists of 15 alphanumeric letters. The first two letters represent the country in which that company is registered. Currently, all countries follow the two-letter country code in the EU.

Getting Details About A Business

You can obtain vital information for businesses registered in the UK free of charge from companies house. This can include the following information:

  • Company Information – e.g., date registered, registered address
  • Bankruptcy Information
  • Present/resigned offices
  • Company data and document images
  • Relevant Certified Documents

Why It Is Important To Check A UK VAT Number?

By simply checking whether the VAT number is valid for a business could save you a great deal of expense and hassle. An invalid VAT number could, unfortunately, result in the HMRC rejecting your tax claim and effectively invalidating your VAT invoice altogether. Although in most cases, this can be down to human error, there is also a chance of fraudulent activity which is why checking the supplier’s VAT number on the invoice is key.

If you own a company that is struggling to pay VAT, you should seek the services of a debt specialist.

What Does A VAT Number Look Like?

In the UK, this number is usually nine digits long and tends to contain two-letter country codes. In the UK, you will find the words ‘GB’ at the start. This number can be found on the company’s VAT registration certificate issued.

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