South Africa VAT compliance and rates

South Africa VAT compliance

There are detailed rules controlling the recording and processing of South African transactions.

These include guidelines on:

  • South African invoice requirements;
  • Foreign currency reporting and translation;
  • Credit notes and corrections; and
  • What accounting records must be maintained.

South Africa VAT returns

Periodic VAT returns must be submitted by all companies with a South African VAT number, detailing all taxable supplies (sales) and inputs (costs). Returns are monthly if turnover is greater than ZAR 30 Million, and 4-monthly or 6-monthly (farming only) if less than ZAR 1.5 Million. In between companies are required to submit bi-monthly returns. There is also a special annual return facility for administrative trusts and companies involved in property leasing.

Payments of VAT liability must be settled by the return deadline which is the 25th of the month following the period end. The company can register for E-filing through their Fiscal Representative and the deadline for payment is the last day of the month following the period end.


VAT Rates in South Africa

The standard rate of VAT is 15%. Exports, certain foodstuffs and other supplies are zero-rated, and certain supplies are exempt (mainly certain financial services, residential accommodation and public transport).

South African VAT rates

Rate Type Which goods or services
15% Standard Since 1 April 2018
0% Zero Exports; agricultural supplies; residential lettings; road and rail transport; financial services; money lending; retirement and medical benefits; international transport.
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