November 15, 2021

Preparing your budget for your dream home

Purchasing a new home is undoubtedly an exciting decision, but it is also an extremely emotional one. A home is where family traditions are brought to life and where lifelong memories are made. However, in addition to the immense pride that comes with having a place to call your own, comes the heavy costs that tend to come along with purchasing your new place, which you may not even be aware of. When purchasing property, it is important to look beyond just the purchase price – there are a number of other costs that should be included into your budget […]
July 19, 2021

What to look out for when submitting your VAT invoice

All value-added tax (VAT) vendors that have gone through a VAT verification from the South African Revenue Service know how frustrating the delays on input VAT refunds can be when supporting documents do not meet the requirements for a valid tax invoice. Below, we revisit some of the necessary key elements to ensure proper compliance in this regard. The VAT Act identifies different transactions that each requires different types of tax invoices: If the consideration for the supply is more than R5 000 (including tax), a full tax invoice must be issued. If the consideration for the supply is more than R50 but not less […]
May 4, 2021

Value Added Tax and its application on general and specified-use vouchers

On 12 January 2021, the Gauteng High Court delivered judgement in the matter of MTN (Pty) Ltd v CSARS (79960/2019) [2021], in respect of a declaratory order that MTN sought to confirm their interpretation of the VAT treatment of certain airtime vouchers. The VAT Act distinguishes between two types of vouchers – those that can be used for unknown goods and services at the time of issue (consider, for example, a retail shopping voucher); and those vouchers that can be spent on specific goods and services (in other words, not able to be used for goods and services other than those specified). […]
April 19, 2021

It’s hunting season! Are you ready?

As the traditional winter hunting season approaches and South African borders are (somewhat) more open after the stricter COVID-19 lockdown, it is important revisit the Value-Added Tax (VAT) impact of the various goods and services generally supplied to foreign hunters. The general rule is that the supply of goods or services in the Republic by a vendor to a foreign hunter is subject to VAT at the standard rate on the basis that the goods or services are consumed in the Republic. There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule. Accommodation The supply of “commercial accommodation” (lodging or board and lodging together with domestic goods […]
April 19, 2021

Arbitrary practices by SARS when issuing assessments

The Tax Administration Act provides for the audit and verification of taxpayers’ tax returns for all taxes administered by the Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (SARS). In many instances, such requests for information are general, boiler-plate letters received by taxpayers, not indicating specifically what additional information SARS requires in the circumstances and which supporting documents must be provided. In recent times, in respect of both income tax and value-added tax, SARS has taken an arbitrary approach in issuing additional assessments based on information provided by taxpayers in response to the inadequate (or vague at best) requests for information. Income […]
January 19, 2021

Smart accounting, the smart way

The last several years have seen an increase in “smart accounting systems” that have online capabilities and that can integrate with various other business solutions. These smart accounting systems have revolutionised traditional accounting, and there can be no question that many businesses run a more organised and financially sound operation as a result of the availabilities of these programs and applications. While the benefits of using these systems speak for themselves, businesses should ensure that the data processing and back-end of these systems (which is often based overseas) are compliant with local value-added tax (VAT) legislation. A prevalent example is […]
July 7, 2020

Rescission of judgments by SARS: Barnard Labuschagne Inc v SARS

The judgment deals with an application for rescission of a judgment by Barnard Labuschagne (Applicant), where SARS took judgment under the provisions of chapter 11 of the Tax Administration Act (TAA). SARS filed a certified statement in terms of Section 172 of the TAA with the Registrar of the Court, setting out an amount of liquid debt due by the Applicant in respect of PAYE, VAT, UIF and SDL, and payable to SARS. The Applicant is a law practice in the Western Cape and brought an application to rescind, based on various contentions. Over an extended time, the Applicant had […]
February 5, 2020

For how long can your taxes haunt you?

In terms of section 99 of the Tax Administration Act, 28 of 2011, an assessment may not be made three years after the date of an original assessment by the South African Revenue Service (SARS), or in the case of a self-assessment by a taxpayers (such as in the case of a Value-Added Tax return), five years after the date of an original assessment. These periods are generally referred to as the prescription rules and are in place to ensure that finality is eventually brought to a tax period. Essentially, therefore, the prescription rules provide that tax periods do not […]
September 27, 2019

The different VAT supplies

There are a few instances where VAT is not charged at the standard rate of 15%. In the following newsletter, we distinguished between the different supplies that attract VAT but does not necessarily have the impact of a standard rate supply. Denied Supplies The VAT Act provides for certain expenses where input VAT is denied, even if the expense is incurred in the course of conducting an enterprise and if there are no input VAT consequences there will ultimately be no output VAT consequences. The following circumstances are common instances where input VAT will be denied: Acquisitions of a motor […]
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