What is VIES?
“VIES: VAT Information Exchange Service. It’s a Database for checking VAT validation numbers issued by the European Union Member States”
There are other services that claim to make almost magic to determine which VAT Number is valid. They are based on non-official VAT algorithms, and as they are not officially published they could become obsolete. Moreover, a VAT number can be valid, but it does not mean that it is assigned to a real company. That’s why it is so needed a VAT Validation.
How does VAT validation work in VIES?
The VIES service consults directly to the databases and online services of the member countries. It means it not only validates the correction but also the EXISTENCE and VALIDITY of a VAT number. You can use it on real time commercial transactions, and that’t why VAT validation is so important.
Not all countries give the same information. It depends on the country where the query is made:
VIES can validate the VAT number only (GERMANY) or also can give the name and fiscal address of the company (DENMARK). For other countries (SPAIN) it also verifies if the company names and fiscal address are valid. This can only happen if they are entered as an input.
There is NOT a single EU registry: VIES is an content aggregator really. The responsibility for the final service, the correct VAT validation, rests with in the member countries that provides the VAT information.
The usefulness is demonstrated by the facts:
VIES is an EU service that has been in operation for more than 15 years and receives more than 2.5M daily validation requests.
As we indicated before, VIES is used by those organizations who wish to do business within the EU for their commercial relationships with companies within their territory.
You can check here manually VIES.
Why is so important the VAT validation?
Thanks to the VIES service, companies can carry out intra-EU trade exchanges exempt from VAT in the Member State of dispatch when they are made to a taxable person in another Member State who will account for the VAT on arrival.
If the consulting company identifies itself with its own VAT number, the inquiry number provided by VIES can be saved as proof of having made the VAT validation and use it as one of the tests for VAT exemption of intra-community supplies of goods.
AXY7 aims to help companies that use Salesforce to be more effective and productive. We have VAT validation for european contries in our Axy Validator app, checking the different formats for every EU country, but not consulting VIES. In the roadmap for our apps we have included the access to VIES service from within Salesforce.
Take a look to Axy Validator, our app that allows companies to validate VAT number format. It is used directly from within Salesforce and will help and boost your commercial, financial and/or logistic processes.
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