When to register?
It is mandatory for a business to register for VAT if the total value of taxable supplies made in any consecutive twelve month period exceeded or is likely to exceed R1 million. The business must complete a VAT 101 – Application for Registration form and submit it to the local SARS branch within 21 days from date of exceeding R1 million.
A business may also choose to register voluntarily for VAT if the value of taxable supplies made or to be made is less than R1 million, but has exceeded R50 000 in the past period of 12 months.
VAT Regulations: Value of taxable supplies is less than R50 000
Further, in terms of the new VAT Registration Regulations, a person carrying on an enterprise which has not made R50 000 in taxable supplies in the past period of 12 months, is also allowed to register for VAT. In order to register, the person must be able to satisfy SARS that one or more of the following circumstances applies as at date of application for registration:
In the case of a person who has made taxable supplies for more than 2 months (but not exceeding 11 months), such person must prove that the average value of taxable supplies in the preceding months prior to the date of application for registration exceeded R4 200 per month;
In the case of a person who has made taxable supplies for only one month preceding the date of application for registration, such person must prove that the value of the taxable supplies made for that month exceeded R4 200;
In the case of a person who has not made taxable supplies, such person must have a written contract, in terms of which the person is required to make taxable supplies exceeding R50 000 in the 12 months following the date of registration;
In any other case, the person has entered into a finance agreement with a bank, specified credit provider, designated entity, public authority, non SA resident or any other person who continuously or regularly provides finance, wherein finance has been provided to fund the expenditure incurred or to be incurred in furtherance of the enterprise, and the total repayments in the 12 months following the date of registration will exceed R50 000; or
In any other case, the person has proof of expenditure incurred or to be incurred in connection with the furtherance of the enterprise as set out in a written agreement or proof of capital goods acquired in connection with the commencement of the enterprise and proof of payment or extended payment agreement evidencing payment has either exceeded R50 000 at the date of application for registration or that will in any consecutive period of 12 months beginning before and ending after the date of application, exceed R50 000; or will in the 12 months following the date of application for registration exceed R50 000.
VAT Regulations: Nature of Activities
A person may apply to register as a vendor at the time that any goods or services are acquired directly in respect of the commencement of any of the following continuous and regular activities:
Agriculture, Farming, Forestry and Fisheries
Ship and aircraft building
Manufacture or assembly of plant, machinery, motor vehicles or locomotives
How does the VAT liability date work?
In terms of voluntary VAT registrations submitted via eFiling, please note that the VAT liability date will be set in accordance with your date of registration. If you have charged VAT or are under a contractual obligation to charge VAT prior to applying for registration, you must visit a SARS branch with the necessary supporting documents such as signed contracts or invoices issued to prove the backdated liability request.
For VAT registrations with taxable supplies exceeding R1 million (also referred to as compulsory registrations), the eFiling RAV01 VAT registration process will not allow backdating for more than six months from the date of registration. If the date entered exceeds six months, SARS will reset the date to the date of the application. Please visit a SARS branch if the backdating exceeds six months with the necessary supporting documents such as financial statements, signed contracts or invoices issued.
Top Tip: VAT liability date backdating requests submitted at the SARS branch will only be considered for new and existing registration if the vendor can provide sufficient supporting documents proving the backdated liability. Kindly note that all other associated registration related supporting documents are still applicable. For VAT liability date backdating requests specifically, you will be expected to provide invoices, signed contracts or financial statements to motivate the backdating.
How to register?
The VAT 101 application for registration must be submitted in person at the SARS branch nearest to the place where your business is situated or carried on. A registered tax practitioner may appear in person on behalf of the applicant. SARS will not accept any faxed or photocopied applications for registration. Posted applications will only be processed if applicants are geographically far from the SARS branch or due to any form of disability that prevents the applicant from appearing in person at the SARS branch, to present the application.
All supporting documents must be submitted, otherwise there may be a delay in finalising the VAT registration.