South Africa VAT registration restrictions

Thu 1st Sep 2011

The South African VAT authorities have put in new checks for non-resident companies seeking VAT registrations. This initiative has been introduced to help cut down on the levels of VAT fraud – an expanding problem mirroring Europe’s difficulties.

The principle new requirement from SARS, South African Revenue Service, is that traders can produce three-months’ worth of bank statements. Previously, only a communication from a reputable bank was required.

This obligation presents particular difficulties for foreign traders who use their VAT agent’s bank account to make settlements. Similarly, if non-resident companies use local group subsidiaries’ bank accounts to settle VAT liabilities.

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