The European Commission have enhanced their on-line service which allows taxpayers to check if the VAT number given to them by a potential supplier or customer is valid.
The on-line service has been updated to allow taxpayers to obtain a certificate to prove that they checked that a VAT registration number was valid at a given time and date. This system has been designed primarily to protect taxpayers who become innocently involved in a chain of fraudulent transactions such as carousel fraud.
The certificate will provide valuable evidence for a taxpayer to prove that they acted in good faith should HMRC challenge input tax recovery or seek payment of lost VAT.
The new on-line system will also be useful to businesses who zero-rate sales to businesses in other EU countries. Specifically in meeting one of the conditions for zero-rating which states that your customer must be VAT registered.
The on-line service is available at the following address: