July 5, 2017

The right price for a VAT number is…

The market for VAT service providers in Europe is quite wide and heterogeneous: from local tax firms to big auditors, from niche providers to software companies. And others.

Prices for a VAT registration in a single European country vary.

From £0.99 (joke) to £9,999 (not a joke).

What is the fair price?

Perhaps, this is not the right question. What is the service I, merchant, should expect from a VAT service provider? Which are the problems and hurdles I may encounter?

The same with periodic VAT filings.

I can be offered very low rates for the services at hand, but:

  • Who will inform me (the merchant) that the C79 form from HMRC is a strict requirement to claim import VAT on my imports from China? I may wind up losing thousands of Pounds.
  • Who will tell me about the invoicing requirements in Belgium? Will I be charged separately?
  • If I have written the wrong payment description for my £2,500 VAT payment to the French authorities, who is going to contact the Frenchmen to notify the tax officers about the mistake and have the payment acknowledged? Will I be charged separately?
  • Who will help me to answer to the questionnaire sent by the German tax authorities, unsurprisingly, written in German? Will I be charged separately?

Every business has different needs VAT-wise. It should find the right solution tailored to its needs.

(I am tempted to end this article with the old saying: “You pay peanuts, you get monkeys”. I will not).