Update on the rules for conference organisers in South Africa

Wed 16th Jan 2013

The South African VAT authorities have issued a new instruction on the VAT obligations of foreign traders organising conferences and live events.  Key points include:

  • companies must notify the South African tax authorities within 20 days of the commencement of trade, which includes employing staff
  • to register for VAT, companies must provide basic company information (Memorandum and Articles of Association), details and copy passports for Directors, and proof of the plan to trade
  • foreign companies must appoint a local VAT agent
  • single events do generally not constitute an on-going trade, and therefore VAT registration and compliance is not required
  • organisers must open a local bank account for the processing of in-country payments and currency, and this is a pre-condition to receiving a South African VAT number