Conduct a vat check of your supplier before finalizing your transaction

If you are a vat registered trader in the UK or even in any other member EU country that has embraced vat then you need to conduct a vat check of your supplier before finalizing your transaction, especially if you plan to import goods or services into your country. It is actually quite simple to conduct a vat number check over the internet before you part with your hard-earned money.

VAT or value added tax is a system of taxing goods and services that is followed in several countries across the globe including most eu countries. If you are a trader in the UK that is importing goods or services from other eu countries where vat has already been paid in the country of origin then you can apply for a vat refund. This will allow you to reclaim vat paid earlier so as to avoid double-taxation. However, it is important that you buy your goods from a vat registered trader or exporter in another country so that the chain of vat continues when the goods or services are imported into the UK.

However, there just might be a possibility that an unregistered vat trader might try to dupe you of your savings by charging you vat even while providing you with a fake or expired vat number on the vat invoice. In such a case, you might not be able to reclaim any vat on that transaction, which in turn will raise your costs and deny you your rightful refund. It is thus very important to conduct a vat check that usually takes only a few minutes when you log on to the official European Commission or EUROPA website that allows you to conduct a vat registration check and validate if your supplier has indeed provided you with a genuine vat number.

All you need to do is to log on to the EUROPA website ec.europa.eu directly or visit the hmrc vat department website and follow the link provided at the site. All you need to do is to choose the eu country of your supplier, type in the vat number of your proposed supplier, choose your own country code, and type in your own vat number. You will now need to click on verify, upon which the verification software will inform you if the vat number is valid.

If possible, you should try to print the validation screen as proof of having conducted the check at a particular date and time. If the registration number is not valid then you can inform your supplier since there could be many reasons for such a response, ranging from a genuine mistake in providing you with the vat number to willful wrongdoing on your supplier’s part. You should remember that ultimately it is your business that will suffer if you fail to conduct a vat number check.

Conducting a vat registration number check is very important if you plan to purchase goods or services from vat registered traders in another country that also follow the system of vat. The actual checking process hardly takes more than a few seconds and conducting a vat check will certainly save your business a lot of money and pain in case the supplied vat number turns out to be incorrect.