Note a change in requirement when issuing a VAT invoice

vatAuthor: David Warneke

SARS recently issued a binding general ruling clarifying the requirement that the address of the recipient and supplier be reflected on a tax invoice, debit or credit note.  The ruling is effective from 11 March 2014 and it applies for an indefinite period.

In terms of the ruling, a businesses may elect to reflect either:

  • The physical address from where the enterprise is being conducted;
  • The postal address of the enterprise; or
  • Both the physical and postal addresses of the enterprise.

Will branches and divisions be exempt from this requirement?

Branches or divisions that are separately registered for VAT¹, the tax invoice, credit or debit note must reflect the address of the branch or division.

Will the same rule apply to the non-resident business?

A tax invoice, credit or debit note issued for a zero-rated supply of goods or services to a non-resident must reflect either:

  • The physical address of the non-resident in the foreign country;
  • The postal address of the non-resident; or
  • Both the physical and the postal address of the non-resident.

The address of the supplier must always be reflected on tax invoices as well as on debit and credit notes issued by VAT vendors. The address of the recipient must also be reflected in a tax invoice, debit or credit note where the consideration for the underlying supply exceeds or, in the case of a debit or credit note, exceeded R5 000. This ruling sets out which addresses (of the supplier or the recipient) are relevant for these purposes.

The ruling implies that the address of the recipient need only be reflected where the recipient is a vendor or a non-resident. The address must also be reflected where the recipient is a resident but a non-vendor, provided that the consideration for the supply exceeds R5 000.²

The particulars required to be contained in tax invoices are however subject to ‘what the Commissioner may otherwise allow’.

References:

¹  In terms of section 50(1) of the VAT Act.

²  In terms of section 20(4) of the VAT Act.

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