Welcome to the latest edition of VAT Connect, the electronic newsletter for vendors that keeps you up to date with the tax matters that affect you.

To read our newsletter below, click on each heading to expand the corresponding article.

Various amendments to the VAT Act in terms of the Taxation Laws Amendment Act 31 of 2013 were promulgated on 12 December 2013 and published in Government Gazette 37158. The amendments came into effect from 1 April 2014 unless otherwise stated.

The most important amendments are listed briefly below:

  • Registration and deregistration
    • Non-resident suppliers of certain “electronic services” to South African residents (or if payment originates from South Africa) are required to register for VAT with effect from 1 June 2014.
    • Certain changes to the law have been made regarding the rules for compulsory and voluntary registration, including clarification on how the different thresholds apply.
    • Some changes to the law were made concerning the application of the payments basis of accounting for VAT and cancellation of registration as part of the changes relating to voluntary registration.

For more details, refer to the articles “New rules for VAT registration” and “Regulations and government notices”.

  • Supply of services for contingent consideration – The special time of supply rule in section 9(4) deals with a situation where the whole of the consideration for a supply of goods is not determined at the time the goods are delivered to the recipient. The time of supply in such a case is the earlier of the date that payment in terms of the agreement is due, or received, or an invoice relating to the supply is issued. From 1 April 2014 the provision now also applies to a supply of services, but excluding a supply made under an instalment credit agreement or rental agreement.

  • On-board entertainment supplied as part of a taxable transportation service – With effect from 1 April 2014, vendors that supply free on-board entertainment as a part of their taxable transportation services are allowed to deduct the VAT incurred to provide that entertainment, provided the cost is included in the fee for the transport. 

  • Imported goods abandoned, destroyed or damaged – Goods imported into South Africa are subject to VAT at the standard rate when entered for home consumption, even if the goods were abandoned, destroyed or damaged. Schedule 1 to the VAT Act has now been amended so that with effect from 1 April 2014, some relief from VAT is provided. This was effected by inserting a new Item 412.07 and Note 1A which explains the application of Item 412.00. The intention is to ensure that the tax payable is in proportion to the economic value of the goods which enter the country. This means, for example, that if the goods concerned are to be scrapped immediately after importation, VAT is only payable on the scrap value and not the original importation value. This change aligns the VAT Act with similar relief from duties provided in the Customs and Excise Act, 1964. 

  • Exemption for homeowners’ associations – The supply of services by, for example, a sectional title body corporate to its members is generally exempt from VAT under section 12(f) to the extent that the supplies are covered by levies charged to members. The application of this provision has been extended by the insertion of sub-paragraph (iv) to section 12(f) so that it now includes certain supplies made by homeowners’ associations to their members. For further information on this topic, refer to the article “Homeowners’ associations”.

  • Conversion of a share block scheme to a sectional title – Section 8(19) was amended to provide that from 1 April 2014, the conversion of shares in a share block scheme to sectional title is now regarded as being conducted in the course or furtherance of an enterprise. However, the value to be placed on each of the reciprocal supplies is nil under the new section 10(27). This means that if both parties are vendors, neither party will account for output tax or deduct input tax on the supplies concerned.

  • Surrender of goods supplied under an instalment credit agreement – The deemed supply which arises under section 8(10) when goods previously supplied under an instalment credit agreement are repossessed has been expanded to include a situation in which the debtor surrenders the goods to the financier (creditor). The effect is that from 1 April 2014 the surrender of goods previously supplied under an instalment credit agreement will have the same input tax and output tax consequences for the parties as a repossession.

  • Adjustment for temporary letting of dwellings developed for sale – The requirement that developers claiming relief under section 18B must submit a declaration to the Commissioner has been deleted retrospectively with effect from 10 January 2012. Developers are therefore entitled to the relief available under section 18B provided proper records are maintained regarding any dwellings which were originally developed for sale, but which were subsequently temporary let during the relief period (10 January 2012 to 31 December 2014).

  • Timing of input tax deductions on importation Section 16(3)(a)(iii) was amended to clarify that the VAT which is payable on the importation of goods may only be deducted by the importer once the VAT has actually been paid to SARS. Section 16(2)(d) provides that a bill of entry or other document prescribed in terms of the Customs and Excise Act together with the receipt for the payment of the tax must be held by the vendor making the deduction (or that vendor’s agent) at the time that any return in respect of that importation is furnished.

For more details, refer to the following documents on the SARS website under “Legal & Policy”:

  • Taxation Laws Amendment Act, 2013 (Act 31 of 2013)
  • Explanatory Memorandum on the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, 2013

Refer also to the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act, 2013 (Act 39 of 2013) which was promulgated on 16 January 2014 and published in Government Gazette 37236.


VAT Connect is an information newsletter and does not constitute a ruling as contemplated in Chapter 7 of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 or section 41B of the Value-Added Tax Act, 1991 unless otherwise indicated. Any request for a ruling on a VAT matter should be headed “Application for a VAT Class Ruling” or “Application for a VAT Ruling” and must be sent by fax to +27 86 540 9390 or email to [email protected]. For general enquiries regarding VAT you can also call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277.


Last Updated: 03/10/2014 10:14 AM     print this page
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