Author: Varusha Moodaley. On 1 June 2020, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) issued an external guide titled Manage Declaration for Non-Registered VAT Vendors (SARS Guide). The SARS Guide provides guidance to non-vendor recipients of imported services and in instances where goods are sold in execution of a debt, on how to settle their VAT liabilities with SARS. On 1 June 2020, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) issued an external guide titled Manage Declaration for Non-Registered VAT Vendors (SARS Guide). The SARS Guide provides guidance to non-vendor recipients of imported services and in instances where goods are sold in execution of a debt, on how to settle their VAT liabilities with SARS. The VAT principles applicable to imported services and goods sold in execution of a debt are first briefly described below.
Author: Gerhard Badenhorst. The debate between taxpayers and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) as to what constitutes a fair and appropriate apportionment formula to determine the deductible value added tax (VAT) incurred on expenses where the taxpayer makes both taxable and exempt supplies, is ongoing. However, it is up to the taxpayer to determine whether an expense incurred is wholly attributable to making taxable supplies, in which case the total amount of VAT incurred is deductible. SARS cannot rule beforehand on whether an expense is directly attributable to taxable supplies, by virtue of a notice published in terms of section 80(2) of the Tax Administration Act 28 of 2011 (GN No. 748 24 June 2016), known as the so-called no-rulings list.
Author: Varusha Moodaley. Where fixed property is purchased by a VAT vendor from a non-vendor, transfer duty is payable thereon by the purchaser. The fixed property purchased from a non-vendor is regarded as second-hand goods in terms of the VAT, Act 89 of 1991 (VAT Act). To the extent that the property is purchased for the purpose of making taxable supplies, the purchasing VAT vendor is entitled to a notional input tax deduction equal to the tax fraction (15/115) of the lesser of the consideration in money paid by the vendor for the supply of the fixed property, or the open market value thereof.
Despite much speculation regarding another increase in the VAT rate, it was announced that the VAT rate would remain unchanged. This is on the basis that a further increase in the VAT rate would not be possible without significant relief measures, either in the form of further zero-rated supplies or increased social grants to poor households at the same time as any increase. No further significant VAT amendments were announced.
Author: Gerhard Badenhorst. The stated policy of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) not to make value-added tax (VAT) apportionment rulings effective retrospectively to prior financial years has been questioned on several occasions. The matter was recently considered by the Tax Court in the case of Taxpayer v Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (VAT2063)  ZATC2 (15November2019) where the Tax Court found in favour of SARS.
Author: Leah Nieman. Non-profit organisations (NPOs) or Public Benefit Organisations (PBOs) often receive funding, payments, or consideration from public authorities or municipalities (Government). This frequently gives rise to uncertainty regarding the treatment of payments received from Government which could result in the VAT vendor treating the receipt incorrectly. If Government engages with a vendor to acquire goods or services, an actual supply is made. However, uncertainty arises if payment received from Government does not relate to the procurement of goods and services.
Author: Des Kruger, a Webber Wentzel Consultant. The indirect taxation of cross-border e-commerce transactions have been high on the agenda for tax authorities worldwide. There is clearly a perception that much of these transactions are escaping indirect tax (essentially VAT) because the supplier and consumer are in different jurisdictions. Following the release of the OECD International VAT/GST Guidelines most VAT jurisdictions have adopted new rules for the taxation of cross-border e-commerce.
Following on the 2018 budget review in which the Minister increased the VAT rate to 15%, no further significant VAT amendments were announced. Clearing of VAT refund backlog In October 2018, the Minister stated in the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement that VAT refunds owing to vendors amounted to massive R41.8 billion. SARS made an effort to pay the outstanding refunds since then, which now stands at R31 billion. However, according to a SARS estimate, the outstanding refunds should be about R22 billion if uncompleted verifications and refunds withheld due to suspected fraud is taken into consideration. This effectively means that by reducing the VAT refund backlog from R41.8 billion to an acceptable R22 billion, the total expected additional revenue resulting from the increase in the VAT rate in the first year following the increase on 1 April 2018, is applied to pay outstanding VAT refunds.
Authors: Seelan Muthayan and Ayanda Masina (BDO South Africa). Increase in the VAT rate The Minister of Finance in the budget speech announced an increase in the VAT rate to 15%. The much anticipated increase is the first increase in the VAT rate since 1993. The VAT rate will increase with effect 1 April 2018. The provisions of the VAT Act relating to the application of an increase in the tax rate will apply to transactions where the applicable tax rates overlap. To counter the effect of the increase in the VAT rate, relief will be granted in the form of the current zero rating of basic foodstuff and an above average increase in social grants. Electronic Services Amendment of the Regulations In 2014, National Treasury brought electronic services provided by foreign businesses/ non-residents to South African residents into the South African VAT net. This new activity/type of supply was Read More …
Author: Gerhard Badenhorst (Director at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr). Many residential property developers will kick off 2018 with a major cash flow challenge as a result of a substantial value added tax (VAT) liability which they may face in respect of the temporary letting of residential units which have been developed for resale.