Government VAT checking service replaces the VIES

07 January 2021

Government VAT checking service replaces the VIES

As of 1 January 2021, following Brexit, the EU’s VIES service ceased to apply to the validation of UK VAT numbers.

HMRC have now developed an alternative online service called ‘Check a UK VAT number’.

This service can be used to check:

  • if a UK VAT registration number is valid
  • the name and address of the business the number is registered to

It is also possible for UK VAT-registered businesses to use this service to prove when they checked a UK VAT number.

The new system also includes an Application Programme Interface via HMRC’s Developer Hub to enable users who need to check multiple VAT numbers to connect directly to it.


Aspire comment:

This will be a welcome replacement for many who utilised the VIES service as part of their due diligence processes.

It is also a vast improvement on HMRC’s earlier offering to check VAT numbers were valid, which was a lengthy process involving email authorisations, checking one VAT number at a time and extensive request for information about the company being checked (not simply their VAT registration number). The response was not immediate, and, in some cases, responses were not received for weeks at a time.