VAT number verification
The European Commission website includes an on-line service which allows taxpayers to check if a quoted VAT number is valid. The service allows 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.
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 on-line system is also useful to businesses who zero-rate sales to businesses in other EU countries as it can help establish one of the conditions for zero-rating i.e. that your customer is VAT registered.
The on-line service is available at the following address: http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/vieshome.do?selectedLanguage=EN