The VAT (value added tax) number is a company identifier used in the countries of the European Union. Unlike sales tax, value added tax (VAT) taxes the estimated market value added at each stage of production. VAT-registered businesses collect VAT and deduct from it the amount of tax they have paid to other VAT-registered businesses on business purchases. It's a good idea to check a company's VAT number for validity when an EU enterprise commences business with another EU enterprise.
- Skill level:
Visit the European Commission's VIES VAT number validation site where you can confirm the validity of a known VAT number from any EU member state.
Select the member state from the drop-down menu.
Enter the VAT number to be validated.
Enter the requester member state.
Enter the requester VAT number.
You can also phone the VAT Helpline in the UK at Tel 0845 010 000. A worker can validate a VAT number and verify that the name and address of the enterprise you give them is correct.
Tips and warnings
- The EU's official VIES website verification confirms only that a VAT number is currently allocated but does not provide the name or other identifying details of the business where the identifier has been allocated.
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