Tax & Admin

How To Check If A Company Is VAT Registered?

Allison S Robinson | 28 September 2022 | 2 years ago

How To Check If A Company Is VAT Registered?

Wondering how to check if a company is VAT registered? To check if a company is VAT registered, you can use the European Commission’s VAT information exchange system (VIES), visit HMRC’s check a VAT number service, or call their VAT helpline. Each service allows businesses to check if a company is VAT registered and to obtain the necessary information about their VAT status including their VAT registration number.

If you’re working with a new supplier, want to check your own VAT status, or have an invoice and want to know if it should have VAT added to it, then knowing how to find out more information about a company’s VAT status is important.

Read on to learn more about HMRC’s VAT services, the VAT information exchange, other ways to check a company’s VAT status, and why you need this information when doing business with your suppliers.

What Is The VAT Information Exchange?

The VAT information exchange is an online service designed to help businesses check if their suppliers are registered for VAT.

This service is quick, easy to use, and provides accurate information about a company’s VAT status. If you are a business and would like to use this service, you will need to register for an account. You can do this by visiting the website and following the instructions.

Once you have registered, you will be able to log in and start using the service to search for the company name and address you want to check. The simple drop down box shows each country code in the European Union and will then return results showing the company’s VAT number and status.

If the company is registered for VAT, businesses will be able to view the company’s VAT number and other important information. If the company is not registered, businesses will be able to contact the company directly to obtain the necessary information.

This service can be used by businesses that are:

  • Wondering if they should charge VAT on an invoice from a supplier
  • Looking for more information about a potential supplier
  • Verifying that a vat number is valid
  • Checking that their current suppliers are correctly registered

Why Is Checking VAT Status Important?

Many businesses are required to pay Value Added Tax (VAT) on most of the goods and services they supply. This includes payment for services such as accommodation, advertising and professional fees. Checking VAT information is an important tool because it helps businesses to ensure that they are correctly charged VAT on invoices from suppliers.

Businesses that do not have a valid VAT registration number but are required to pay VAT may be breaking the law and could face serious consequences. If a business is not registered for VAT, it will not be able to charge VAT on its invoices. This could lead to businesses being charged more than they should be for goods and services

Businesses are required to comply with the Payment Services Regulations 2017. This means they must provide certain information about themselves to their payment service providers, including their VAT registration number.

Being able to check VAT status also helps businesses to avoid being charged VAT on payments that are not eligible for VAT relief as well as ensuring that businesses are correctly accounting for VAT on their taxable supplies.

In some cases, businesses may also be responsible for paying any outstanding VAT owed to HMRC. This is why it’s so important to check that your suppliers are correctly registered for VAT.

Other Ways To Check If A Company Is VAT Registered?

Whilst the best way to check if a company is VAT registered is to use the VAT information exchange, if you’re not sure if a company is registered, you can also check the Companies House website or directly with HMRC.

Companies House provides information about all businesses registered in the UK, including their VAT status. You can also check a VAT number with the HMRC VAT number checking service. You can contact HMRC directly by phone, web chat or post Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm.

Why Do I Need To Know If A Company Is VAT Registered?

Why Do I Need To Know If A Company Is VAT Registered

If you’re doing business with suppliers in the UK, it’s important to know if they are VAT registered because:

  • VAT registration can affect the price of goods or services. If a company is registered for VAT, they can charge an additional 20% on its products or services. This is because they are required to pay this amount to the government.
  • VAT registered companies must provide customers with a VAT invoice if they request one. This invoice needs to include certain information, such as the company’s VAT number and the total amount of VAT charged.
  • Only VAT-registered businesses can reclaim VAT back that they have paid on business expenses.
Knowing if you’re dealing with a vat registered business will help you to correctly invoice your customers and to avoid any penalties from HMRC and If you’re planning on starting or running a business, it’s important to be aware of the implications of VAT registration.

Pros And Cons Of VAT Registration

Being VAT registered allows businesses to charge VAT on the goods and services they supply, and also claim back any VAT they have paid on their own purchases.

The main advantage of VAT registration is that it provides a potential source of revenue for businesses. By charging VAT on their sales, businesses can increase their profits and help to offset any VAT they may have to pay on their own purchases.

The downside to VAT registration is that the process of registering for VAT can be complex and time-consuming. Second, businesses that are registered for VAT must comply with a range of rules and regulations, including sending regular VAT tax returns which can be time consuming. Finally, businesses that charge VAT must include it in their prices, which can make their products appear less competitive than non registered competitors.

Overall, whether or not to register for VAT is a decision that should be made carefully, taking into account the specific circumstances of the business and the registration guidelines set by HMRC.

Related Questions

FAQs about VAT

What Is VAT?

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a tax that is levied on most goods and services supplied in the UK and EU. Businesses that are registered for VAT must charge VAT on their supplies, and also account for any VAT they have paid on their own purchases.

The standard rate of VAT in the UK is 20%. There are also reduced rates of 5% and 0% for certain items, such as food and children’s clothing.

VAT is a complex tax, and businesses must comply with a range of rules and regulations. For example, businesses must keep accurate records of their sales and purchases, and file regular VAT returns with HMRC.

How Do VAT Thresholds Work?

The UK VAT threshold is the minimum amount of annual turnover that a business must generate before it is required to register for VAT.

The current threshold is £85,000, which means that businesses with an annual turnover below this amount are not required to charge VAT on their products and services. This can be advantageous for small businesses, as it allows them to keep their prices low and compete with larger businesses that are registered for VAT.

Businesses can voluntarily register for VAT even if they do not meet the turnover threshold. This can be beneficial if the business intends to grow quickly, as it will allow them to reclaim any VAT paid on purchases.

Where Can I Get Help With VAT?

It’s your responsibility as a business owner to make sure you’re registered and paying the right amount of VAT but as this can feel daunting to many, there’s plenty of help available if you’re not sure where to start.

You can find all the information you need on HMRC’s website, or you can talk to an accountant or tax advisor who can help you with the registration process and ensure you’re complying with the regulations.

Once you’re registered for VAT, you’ll need to file returns and make payments on time, but again, help is available if you need it. There are software packages that can make the process easier, and HMRC also offers support and guidance if you have any questions.

Call the HMRC VAT Helpline on 0300 200 3700. This line is open between 8am and 8pm during the week, alternatively, qualified accountants and tax advisors can also assist with VAT registration and compliance.

What Is A VAT Registration Number or VAT Number?

A VAT registration number or VAT number is a unique code assigned to businesses by the government to identify them for the purpose of collecting value-added tax. The number is usually composed of the business’s country code, followed by the business’s VAT registration number.

In most cases, the VAT number must be displayed on invoices and other documents related to the sale of goods and services. businesses that are registered for VAT must charge VAT on their sales, and businesses that are not registered for VAT cannot charge VAT.

To register for VAT, businesses must first obtain a VAT registration number from their local tax authority. Once the business has obtained a VAT number, it can begin charging VAT on its sales.

What Does A VAT Number Look Like?

Companies that are registered for VAT in the UK will have a VAT number that starts with ‘GB’, followed by nine numbers. For businesses located in Northern Ireland, the prefix ‘XI’ is used instead of ‘GB’.

The format, length, and structure of VAT numbers vary from country to country but within the EU, VAT registration numbers always start with two letters that refer to the country. The two letter country codes are followed by a sequence of numbers. For example, ‘IE123456789’ or ‘DE987654321’.

It is important to note that not all small businesses are registered for VAT, so a company may not have a VAT number even if it is trading. If you are unsure whether a company is registered for VAT, you can check the online VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) which is managed by the European Commission.

How To Check If VAT Registration Number Is Valid?

If you are a business owner, it is important to make sure that your VAT registration number is valid. This number is used by the government to track your sales and taxes. If you do not have a valid number, you may be subject to penalties and a hefty bill, but it’s easy to check the information online.

There are a few different ways that you can check if your VAT registration number is valid. First, you can contact the tax office in your country (HMRC in the UK) and ask them to verify the number.

Second, you can check the online database of VAT numbers. This database is maintained by the European Commission and can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection. Simply use the drop down menu to select the relevant country codes to access a complete database of registered company information.

Finally, you can contact the customer service of the company that issued your VAT number. They will be able to tell you if the number is still active or not.

Is Every Company VAT Registered?

Not every company is VAT registered. There are several reasons why a business might not be registered for VAT, including:

  • The business is below the VAT registration threshold
  • The business does not supply taxable goods or services
  • The business is exempt from VAT
  • The business is in a sector that is not subject to VAT

Summary

You should now know how to check if a company is VAT registered, which is important information for all businesses dealing with VAT eligible suppliers of taxable goods and services. You can check the validity of a VAT number by contacting HMRC or searching for a company in the vies website which is an online VAT database covering VAT registered businesses across the EU.

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