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How can we verify and check a VAT number of a company we do business with?

Question:

I represent a company from Romania which delivered software for mobile to a company in the Netherlands. This has given a valid vat number in contracting, but after a year passed that, during that time the company had another valid vat code. How can i check if the code was valid in that period? Thank you.

Answer:

You can check whether a VAT number is valid in the VIES system which you can use on the website of the European Commission, see http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/?locale=en

The information relating to VAT-registration data is captured by the national administrations and fed into national databases. This applies also to the intra-Community supplies declared on ‘recapitulative statements‘. The VIES links to these systems and therefore has no control over the actual entered information. If you do not trust the VAT registration invoice your client with VAT. If they are a real company and correctly registered they can always claim back the VAT themselves. You may want to check the VAT number every time you issue an invoice to a client in another EU country to prevent trouble in case a VAT number is no longer valid. The VIES system will only tell if a certain number is valid, nothing more. If you need more proof you will have to contact your client or the tax authorities in the Netherlands. Your client will have received a letter from the Dutch tax authorities confirming the new VAT number, your client should be able to show you this letter. 


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Comments (5)
Comment by Sjor Vof on Tue, Dec 16th, 2014 at 4:08 PM
Dear Sir/Madam, I want to buy from a company in Holland. I have been trying to verify their company and know if they are a legitimate company here in Holland. I have searched for their VAT number but I cant find it online. Please kindly provide me the company VAT number so that we can crosscheck their company. Best Regards. Thanks for your understanding.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Thu, Jan 22nd, 2015 at 5:26 PM
Expatax doesn‘t know the VAT number of your client. You need to ask them directly after which you can check it in the online VIES system. If you would like to know if a company really exists you can also check the Dutch traderegister on www.kvk.nl.
Comment by Abbas on Mon, Jan 18th, 2016 at 9:02 PM
Hi I want to buy a large amount of goods from denmarkian company. But i don not know how trust them? Are they a company? Or no company exists? They don not have any web site . They give me just email telephone and also valid VAT number. How should i became sure about them?
Comment by morris shahkalili on Sun, Apr 17th, 2016 at 4:36 PM
good day, I need to know if a certain company really exists and if it is ok to send them 30% deposit for purchases we make.
Comment by Arjan Enneman on Thu, Apr 21st, 2016 at 1:20 PM
Using the VIES system you can check whether a VAT number is still valid. It will also show you to known address of the company. In the trade register of the Chamber of Commerce (www.kvk.nl) you can check the background of the company and whether it is still active. You can check the companies website and see if you can find more information about the company on the internet. Maybe you can find references. Expatax can‘t tell you (generally) whether a company still exists and whether it is trustworthy.
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