Is that VAT charge legitimate or not?

  TopCat® 18:51 22 Jan 2011

Happened to drop in on the radio to BBC's Moneybox programme today. It seems that some unscrupulous businesses and tradesmen are fraudulently charging Vat on products and services when in actual fact it is not legitimate.
The 20% overcharge is of course pocketed by these people. This fraudulent trend is expected to widen much further as we move through these gloomy fiscal periods.

The programme thankfully gave out a means of checking on the validity of an invoice's Vat number, so I link to it here for your convenience. I hope you will find it very helpful. TC.

click here

  Forum Editor 19:01 22 Jan 2011

for many years, and it's virtually impossible to stop it.

The link to the European Commission's VAT validation site is useful, and thanks for posting it. It's worth pointing out though, that the VAT registration databases used by the site may not be fully up to date. The fact that a number isn't validated on the site is not in itself incontrovertible proof that it's not a valid number.

  TopCat® 19:08 22 Jan 2011

Thank you for that, FE. Here's some further comments on this story which contains details on reporting fraud to HM Customs and checking Vat number validity. TC. click here

  mark2 21:10 22 Jan 2011

We're in the process of changing from sole trader to a ltd company, having been registered for vat for in excess of 10 yrs, HMRC are taking their time issuing us with a new vat number.
We're in the situation of not being registered for vat but we know our turnover is in excess of that needing to be registered. Unless anyone knows different, memory suggests we could be liable for vat on the turnover once HMRC issue our new number. ??

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