South Africa’s VAT changes: The impact on e-commerce

vatAuthor: Bowman Gilfillan 

The buying and selling of services over the internet has become ubiquitous. This article provides an update on the efforts of the South African Revenue Service (‘SARS’) and National Treasury (‘Treasury’) to bring foreign e-commerce suppliers on to a level tax playing field, by requiring them to register under the Value-Added Tax Act 1991 (‘the VAT Act’).

In South Africa, it is usually the case that an entity selling goods or services will (i) be charged VAT (normally at a standard rate of 14%) on its inputs by its suppliers, (ii) charge VAT on its outputs to its customers, and