The EU tool for checking that a VAT number is valid won’t work post-Brexit. What’s the alternative?

As the UK leaves the EU’s VAT regime after 31 December 2020, details of UK VAT numbers will no longer be maintained under the VAT Information Exchange System (VIES).

This means you will no longer be able to check whether a UK VAT number is valid using the VIES tool. There’s a lot of VAT fraud about and if you don’t have a valid VAT number your business could be the one picking up the pieces. Fortunately, HMRC has just published a new tool which will allow you to check a UK VAT number in the same way as the VIES tool. This will be updated in real time, and will also show the name and address of the business associated with the VAT number. You can find the new tool here.

This will also provide evidence of when you checked a VAT number in case of a compliance visit. Note that the tool only applies to UK businesses, so you will still need to use VIES to check numbers for EU suppliers if you use them.

This article has been reproduced by kind permission of Indicator – FL Memo Ltd. For details of their tax-saving products please visit or call 01233 653500.