How to Check TRN Validity in UAE and Track Fake TRN Number
The use of fake Tax/Taxpayer Registration Numbers (TRN) is not uncommon. This practice is illegal and detrimental for the business community. In order to conduct business ethically and safely in the UAE, you need to develop an understanding of TRN to prevent your business from the suppliers who may cheat you by using fake TRNs.
What is TRN
The TRN is a unique 15-digit code provided by the FTA (Federal Tax Authority) of the UAE. This unique code is used as an ID for businesses and individuals for tracking taxes. TRN is also referred to as a VAT identification number in some parts of the world.
Any business or individual that is registered under UAE VAT is issued a unique TRN number. And only the entities that have been registered under UAE VAT can charge VAT to customers. If you aren’t a “registrant”, charging VAT can land you in legal issues.
The concept of Value Added Tax (VAT) is relatively new for most businesses in the UAE. VAT is basically a tax that the businesses charge to their customers and then return back to the government. In the UAE, a VAT of 5% was introduced in 2018 to improve UAE’s economy and to reduce the dependence on oil. VAT on business transactions is treated based on the types of VAT supplies. Registrants are required to charge their customers 5% VAT on the taxable supplies (taxable goods and services).
Why is TRN Verification Important
The UAE’s laws regarding VAT are still not that old as in UK and Europe etc. The business community is still in the process of adapting to these changes. Unfortunately, there are parties that may try to take advantage of people who do not have enough knowledge and experience of VAT yet. When an entity becomes a registrant in the UAE, they must pay taxes to the government. The FTA uses a TRN in order to identify registrants and keep track of their transactions. Registrants adjust the 5% tax rate into their pricing and off-load the taxable amount onto their customers. The money that they collect through VAT is then transferred to the government.
Now, if a company is not registered with the FTA, it has no unique TRN which the government can use to keep a track of its transactions. Unregistered companies aren’t allowed to collect VAT for this reason. However, there may possibly be cases where companies use fake TRNs to collect VAT from their customers. Since they aren’t registered with FTA, they don’t have to deposit this VAT amount collected from customers to the authorities. As such, this amount eventually ends up in their pockets.
How to Verify TRNs
TRN verification is quick and easy. Every registrant is required to print their TRN on their VAT invoice. Before processing any invoice with VAT charges, you must perform a quick TRN number verification process.
TRNs have a specific format in the UAE. A UAE VAT TRN is a unique, 15-digit number with the first three digits being 100. An authentic TRN will have the following format:
A fake TRN could have:
- Less or more than 15 digits
- A starting number that isn’t 100
- An improper format
While visual inspections are quick, you shouldn’t solely rely on them. Sometimes, a fake TRN could be well-made. This is why you should use the FTA’s tax verification tool as well.
FTA Tax Verification
The FTA has a convenient TRN verification tool on their website that you can use. You can verify any TRN here: https://eservices.tax.gov.ae/en-us/trn-verify
In order to verify a TRN, simply follow these steps:
- Go to the FTA’s official TRN verification tool https://eservices.tax.gov.ae/en-us/trn-verify for quick a TRN check.
- Enter the TRN in the field labelled “TRN*” and solve the captcha code.
- Once you have filled both fields, click Validate.
- If the TRN is valid, it will provide you with details of the registrant to whom the TRN belongs. If the TRN is invalid, it won’t show you any results.
TRN check process is really straight forward. With a bit of vigilance, you can save yourself from losing money in a bad deal.
How to Report a Fake TRN?
If you catch someone using a fake TRN, you can report it to the authorities via the VAT helpline and/or email:
VAT Helpline Contact Number: 600 599 994
VAT Complain Email Address: [email protected]
For more information regarding TRN and UAE VAT, you can check out the following links: