Business & Finance

The Taxing Problem of Invoice Compliance

For a South African registered Value Added Tax (VAT) vendor to be able to claim back the input VAT (on purchases of goods and services) a tax invoice that complies with the Act, MUST be obtained. By Thys Buitendag CA (SA).

As a Chartered Accountant, I come across a number of instances where the South African Revenue Services (SARS) has rejected input VAT claims as a result of invalid tax invoices issued by suppliers.

Firstly you must make sure that tax invoices issued by your business complies and secondly, you must check that your suppliers issue tax invoices to you that are also compliant.

The VAT Act requires the issue of a Tax Invoice by a vendor (meaning the supplier of the goods and services that is registered for VAT). The Act also prescribes the details that must be contained in a Tax Invoice.

Without a valid Tax Invoice from your supplier you will not be able to claim back the input VAT, neither will your foreign customer be able to claim a refund of the VAT at Customs if you issued a non-compliant tax invoice.

A business that is not registered for VAT may not charge VAT and may not issue a Tax Invoice. These invoices are referred to just as an “invoice”.

To Download the Tax Invoice Requirements, click HERE.

To Download Examples of VALID tax invoices, click HERE.

For advice or assistance telephone +27 (0)11 475 8422 or for more information visit: You can also send an mail to [email protected].

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