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Brief unimportant whinge about HMRC VAT Reg Formats

Brief unimportant whinge about HMRC VAT Reg...

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Why does HMRC always write VAT numbers with spaces in them? When you try to copy and paste the number in that format into an HMRC form (pdf or online) it counts the spaces as digits and misses off the last two digits of the number.

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chips_at_mattersey
By Les Howard
13th Apr 2015 10:06

VAT Number format

From memory the reason is historical. Numbers were issued in batches 100 xxxx xx, etc., with the final two digits being the arithmetic check digits. When I worked for HMCE, the manual filing system followed this format.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
13th Apr 2015 10:19

Spaces

I've noticed that there's been a tendency to drop the spaces over the last few years.

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By BKD
13th Apr 2015 10:42

How quickly ...

... without counting the digits, could you tell me whether a string of digits I gave you is a telephone number, a VAT number or a UTR?

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RLI
By lionofludesch
13th Apr 2015 12:11

Cut and paste

End of the day, is it a big deal to type in 9 digits ?

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Stepurhan
By stepurhan
13th Apr 2015 12:18

Risk of typo

lionofludesch wrote:
End of the day, is it a big deal to type in 9 digits ?
The reason to use cut and paste is to eliminate the risk of making a typo. It's not about the time it takes, but avoiding that unnecessary risk. 
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RLI
By lionofludesch
14th Apr 2015 14:08

Check digits

stepurhan wrote:

lionofludesch wrote:
End of the day, is it a big deal to type in 9 digits ?
The reason to use cut and paste is to eliminate the risk of making a typo. It's not about the time it takes, but avoiding that unnecessary risk. 

I just confirm the check digits with a little light mental arithmetic.

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By aland
13th Apr 2015 12:50

Spaces in VAT numbers

I would say that the problem is with the HMRC forms, which should have been designed to strip out the blanks (a relatively simple job for the form designer). As mentioned, many codes have spaces in them. It makes them much easier to read and identify. Forms should acknowledge both formats.

Copy and paste is definitely the reliable way to go. Just had that problem this morning with 2 digits reversed in a login name - it took a long time to realise why it wouldn't work.

 

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