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Validation of EU VAT numbers

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018 by Servage

eu_flagCompanies that reside in the EU are obligated to check the validity of business customers’ VAT numbers before engaging in intra-community tax-exempt transactions. For example if you are a British company providing an online service to a German company, you would need to validate the German company’s VAT number in order to legally skip the VAT on the invoicing. Obvisouly it would make sense to du this programatically during your order process, which is why the European VAT Number Validation API is ideal.

The API allows you to validate any given EU VAT number directly from your code by using the following GET request URL – for example in PHP (checking for the British VAT number: GB802311782):

http://isvat.appspot.com/GB/802311782/

It can also easily be integrated in the JavaScript of your website (using jQuery):

$.getJSON('http://isvat.appspot.com/GB/802311782/?callback=?', function(data){alert(data)});

The examples are from the API’s website, and there is further elaboration on possible return messages there.

Manual validations can be performed on the official VIES VAT number validation site.

If you are not sure that your specific service is tax-exempt when dealing with other EU companies, please contact your accountant or tax attorney.

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