South Africa VAT changes in 2013 budget – Amazon ebook VAT

Sat 2nd Mar 2013

The 2013 South African budget was published on 27 February 2013. Contrary to newspaper speculation, it did not include a rise in the 14% Value Added Tax rate. However, it did contain a number of measures around the VAT compliance regime. This includes requiring foreign sellers of digital books (e.g. Amazon), games or films to register for South African VAT.

The changes included:

  • Additional VAT relief on bad debts
  • Clarification of the foreign currency translation rules for invoices
  • Additional provision of VAT zero rating on the exports
  • The VAT registration process will be simplified
  • Changes to the tax point rules for contingent services
  • VAT input relief for the provision on board aeroplane entertainment (films, music, games)
  • The provision of digital services (music, films etc) by foreign companies will trigger a South African VAT registration


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