If you do not want to get a rude shock and get penalized for dealing with a company that has provided you with an incorrect VAT number then you should validate vat numbers for peace of mind. The process is quite easy and totally free if you use the internet and you can easily check any vat number within minutes.
Any trader that gets vat registration after touching the vat threshold figure of that particular country gets a unique vat number. Most European Union countries including the UK have adopted vat and if you are a vat registered trader in the UK then you too would have your own vat no. If you plan to purchase goods or utilize services from another vat registered trader within the UK or even import goods from another eu country then you should do so only from a vat registered trader. This will help you to reclaim any vat previously paid on those goods or services, although this move will succeed only if the vat number provided to you by your supplier is genuine.
Many traders that are not vat registered in their own country try to pass on fake or expired vat numbers to their clients in a bid to generate more sales. The problem is that if you fall victim to such sales then you are sure to face serious problems including penalties when you try to go in for vat refunds based on your supplier’s vat invoice that sports an incorrect or fake vat number. If you plan to import goods into the UK from another eu country then the problem would be more acute since you would need a lot of time and money to pursue the matter and get justice.
However, there exists an easy solution to this problem. You can simply call up the office of HM Revenue and Customs or hmrc that implements all customs and excise customs vat laws in the UK. The phone number is 0845 010 9000 and you can validate the vat number by calling between Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 8.00pm. On the other hand, you can simply go online to visit the hmrc vat website or ec.europa.eu that is the official website of the European Union that oversees eu vat all over Europe. You will need to type in the country code of your supplier followed by the 11 or 12 digit vat number as provided to you by your supplier before you place any order on that supplier. Once you have confirmed that the vat number is genuine and valid on the date of checking the number, you can even take a printout to confirm the validation, before happily placing your order.
In order to maintain vat records, file vat returns and vat refunds for vat already paid on certain goods and services, hiring a capable vat agent would surely be the best possible step. This will enable you to focus on increasing your business while your vat agent takes care of paying and recovering your taxes. Your vat agent should be an expert in eu and uk vat law so that there are no mistakes committed that could come back to haunt you in the future. Your vat agent can also check if new vat registration numbers provided by your suppliers are genuine.
In order to only deal with genuine vat registered traders it is vital that you check if the number provided by any new dealer is indeed valid. This move will ensure that your vat reclaim application is not rejected due to false or invalid vat number of your supplier. You should certainly validate vat numbers for peace of mind while filtering out unscrupulous traders that are only out to make a fast buck at your expense.