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EU VAT Checker Troubleshooting Guide

EU VAT Checker is designed to be as unobtrusive as possible to your customers. We have found the majority of our users can install and configure without issue. However if you do run into problems, this troubleshooting section should provide you with the guidance you need.
If after you have referenced this page, you still can't resolve the issue, then please contact us directly and we will try to help you. Alternatively run a search or check our general troubleshooting section.

Things to Check First

Have you:
  1. Enabled the extension in the configuration panel
  2. Created a new customer group to hold your EU VAT Exempt customers and given this group a Customer Tax Class with NO TAX RULES associated with it
  3. Configured the setting 'Once Validated Add to This Customer Group' to be the customer group in step 2 above
  4. Selected countries that will be validated in the configuration
  5. Ensure you have enabled the TAX/VAT field under System>Configuration> Customer Configuration >Name and Address Options
To test the extension is working:
  1. Edit an existing customer or create a new customer from the admin panel
  2. Specify an invalid VAT number e.g. 'DE1234567' - you will see either a syntax error message or invalid VAT number error message (assuming you have syntax and errors enabled). If not, see 'No Error Messages for Invalid VAT Numbers' below
  3. Specify a valid EU VAT number from a country you selected in 3 above and save
  4. Once saved, they should be moved to the customer group you specified in 2 above

VAT Number is Not Valid

  • If you are experiencing difficulties validating a VAT number, please check the syntax is correct on the EU VAT Number Wiki page
  • Check you can manually validate the number on the VIES database
  • Double check the country in the customer address is the same as country code in the VAT number
  • Ensure you include the country code and number e.g. for Germany would be DE123456789

VIES Service Down Time

  • The VIES service has frequent downtime and is dependent on each countries' own database. These are the published scheduled down times.
  • Often one or two countries databases are unavailable, so for testing purposes, try a VAT number from another country
  • You can configure advanced settings to handle this down time, see our configuration page for example setups

No Error Messages for Invalid VAT Numbers or Customer Group not Updated

If you are not seeing any error messages displayed for invalid syntax or VAT numbers or a valid VAT number test is not updating the customer group

  • Ensure you have enabled Syntax checking (to see the syntax error message). If this is not enabled, the validation will fail with the standard VIES error message which may be confusing
  • Ensure you have enabled 'Validate via European VIES' and under Advanced settings ensure you have 'Approve if European VIES fails for another reason' set to No

If the above checks all pass,

  • If you are using a Checkout module for example, One Step Checkout, these modules are not compatible with EU VAT Checker out of the box, as these extensions frequently rewrite the checkout validation process. There are ways to integrate, please contact us directly to discuss.
  • There may have been a problem during installation which prevented the SQL from running. To rectify this, follow these steps


Uninstalling EU VAT Checker

To remove EU VAT Checker you need to
  • Perform a full backup of your installation and database
  • Remove the folder and contents of app/code/local/Bluejalappeno/Vatchecker
  • Remove the file app/etc/modules/Bluejalappeno_Vatchecker.xml
  • Download the file UninstallSQLCommands.txt below, and run the SQL commands on your database - you may need to modify if your database has prefixes


Genevieve Eddison,
Sep 13, 2012, 4:55 AM