As from 01.01.2020 suppliers are required to obtain customers’ VAT numbers and include them on their sales invoices in case of zero-rated cross-border supply.
Earlier, as ruled by the European Court of Justice several times, taxpayers were not obliged to obtain and validate the customer’s EU VAT number to apply zero-rating.
Based on the new rules the suppler has to obtain, but not specifically obliged to verify the validity of the VAT number.
Tax authorities usually expect suppliers to take reasonable steps to avoid becoming involved in any VAT evasion, and this in many cases includes evidence, that before the transaction took place the VAT number of the customer was checked. This practice should be followed to avoid difficulties with tax authorities.