VAT stands for Value Added Tax. It is a consumption tax placed on goods and services in the European Union (EU). Goods for export (sold outside of the EU) are not assessed a VAT, but imports are taxed so importers won't gain an unfair advantage over EU-based businesses. The tax is assessed as a percentage of the price and is collected via a partial payment system. As the purchaser cannot recover VAT that has been incorrectly charged by an unregistered vendor, it is important to verify VAT registration at the time of purchase.
- Skill level:
Check online at the European Commission's VAT number validation page (see a link in the Resource section). You can verify the VAT number for any EU-based business at this site.
Go to the verification page. You can verify the company's VAT registration by entering the Member State name (a drop-down menu is provided) and entering the VAT number to be validated.
Print off a copy of the validation screen as proof of the company's VAT registration at a given time and date.
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