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Get Compliant from Anywhere, Easy and Fast!

VAT Registration at SARS: New Regulations - How to get your VAT Number ASAP!

During the VAT Registration process, SARS is dealing with thousands of attempts of fraud.

Lately, The South African Revenue Service (SARS) toughened the VAT registration process for companies, aiming to curb fraudulent VAT tax registrations and claims. Increased suspicious activity led to this stricter verification process, including changes to required documents.
VAT fraud happens when for example, a business might charge VAT on an invoice but not pay it over to SARS, or it might claim tax deductions it shouldn’t on its tax returns. This is why SARS is being more careful​​ when companies register for VAT.

VAT Registration up to 2023:

Timeframe for this process was: 2 – 7 days

A few years ago, you had to physically visit a SARS office to register for VAT, which took a lot of time and paperwork. During COVID-19, this process changed, allowing you to do your VAT registration online, making it quicker and less time intensive. However, this also made it easier for some people to commit fraud.

VAT Registration in 2024:

Timeframe for this process is: 21 – 90 days

SARS now might ask you to come in person to a SARS office to make sure everything is correct when you register for VAT. SARS wants to check all your paperwork themselves before saying yes to your VAT registration​​. This change is part of a broader effort to ensure that VAT registration applications are lawful and to curb potential abuses of the system.

For small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in South Africa, these changes could mean navigating a more complex and time-consuming VAT registration process. Delays in obtaining a VAT number can have significant consequences for business, including missed tender opportunities or corporate deals due to the requirement for VAT registration in many business dealings.

Here’s what you need to know about the Updated Requirements for VAT registration in 2024

Navigating the updated VAT registration requirements in South Africa is crucial for businesses aiming to remain compliant with the South African Revenue Service (SARS). Let’s dive into VAT:

When are you required to register for VAT?

To register for VAT, businesses need to meet specific criteria based on their taxable supplies. This can be divided into two separate categories namely Mandatory VAT Registration and Voluntary VAT Registration.

Mandatory Registration:

  • Businesses must register for VAT if their taxable supplies exceed R1 million in any consecutive 12-month period.
  • Non-resident suppliers of certain electronic services are also required to register if their taxable supplies exceed R1 million at the month’s end.

Voluntary Registration:

  • Businesses can voluntarily register for VAT if their taxable supplies in the past 12 months were less than R1 million but exceeded R50,000.
  • Voluntary registration is open under certain circumstances even if the R50,000 threshold hasn’t been met, such as for municipalities, welfare organisations, and specific listed activities like agriculture and mining.

Registration Options Available:

  • eFiling: This option is available if you are working through a registered Tax Practitioner. As a result of the recent changes to the process, business owners need to arrange a appointment with SARS to register for VAT.
  • Virtual Appointment: Secure a spot through the eBooking system for a telephonic engagement or video consultation. This can be done by business owners and don’t require a Tax Practitioner.
  • Using a Specialist like Company Partners.

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Important Steps for eFiling Registration:

Ps: this is applicable to registered Tax Practitioners. However, it is helpful for business owners to understand this process.

  1. Access Your Profile: Log into or create your eFiling profile.
  2. Navigate to Registered Details:
  3. For Tax Practitioners and Organizations, find it under the “Organisations” menu tab.
  4. Maintenance: Click on “Maintain SARS Registered Details,” agree to the terms, and proceed.
  5. Select VAT: Under “My tax products > Revenue,” choose “VAT.”
  6. New Registration: Click “Add new product registration” for new or additional VAT branch registration.
  7. Fill Out the Form: Provide details such as registered particulars, “Trading As” name, liability date, business activity code (refer to the VAT 403 guide for codes), and, if applicable, farming activity code.
  8. Finalise Your Registration: Complete the necessary fields for contact, physical and postal addresses, and banking details.

Obtaining Your VAT Notice of Registration:

  • Log into your eFiling profile and click the “Notice of Registration” icon on the home screen’s top right-hand corner.
  • Step-by-Step Method:
    Log into your eFiling profile.
  • Select “SARS Registered details” on the side menu.
  • Choose “Notice of Registration,” then select “VAT.”

Ensuring Compliance:

Ensure all prescribed supporting documents accompany your VAT registration application to avoid delays. These can be submitted through eFiling, the SARS online query system, or in person by appointment.

With these guidelines, VAT registration is made more accessible. However, we understand that each business’s journey is unique. You must ensure your registration is handled with the utmost care and professionalism.

This is where Company Partners steps in for SMEs to cut the red tape surrounding VAT Registration in South Africa. Working continuously with SARS to gain a deep understanding of the updated VAT registration, our team of VAT specialists offer comprehensive assistance for both mandatory and voluntary VAT registrations at SARS.

Whether facing challenges with the registration process or needing to make arrangements to visit a SARS branch, Company Partners does the legwork, ensuring that SMEs can obtain their VAT number with minimal hassle and delays.

Lets wrap up, it’s clear that navigating the updated VAT registration requirements in South Africa is more critical than ever in 2024. With SARS tightening controls to prevent fraud, businesses are urged to approach VAT registration with diligence and precision.

Fortunately for our customers, Company Partners has been eliminating red tape for South African SME’s since 2006. Our specialized knowledge and dedicated team of 50+ Experts ensures your business not only complies with the new regulations but thrives amidst them

Join forces with Company Partners today, and experience the confidence of having seasoned professionals by your side, cutting down red tape left right and center.

Want to know more about the New VAT Regulations at SARS?

Watch our informative videos below:

Here are the top 3 Questions we get from our clients wanting to Register for VAT at SARS

Why Register for VAT?

Thinking about if VAT registration is good for your business’s growth?

Registering for VAT can open up more chances for your business to grow. Often, when you want to get involved in contracts, RFQs (Requests for Quotations), and tenders, they ask for a VAT number.

Additionally, being on lists of service providers often needs a VAT number. This can make things easier when you send out invoices or quotes, as many businesses prefer to see VAT details on them.

How and When Can You Get VAT Back?

If you have a VAT registration, you can get back the VAT you’ve spent on business costs. This does not include money spent on things for fun, like club memberships, even if you use them for work.

Sometimes, you might find you’ve paid more VAT on your costs than what you’ve charged for VAT on your goods or services. If this happens, SARS might need to give you some money back.

But, remember, you can’t ask for VAT back on things that don’t have VAT on them, like items that are VAT-free or have 0% VAT. That’s because you didn’t actually pay VAT on these.

To get your VAT back, you have to submit a refund return to SARS. After they get your complete form, they should give you your money back within 21 days.

There are some fantastic examples on VAT, and how it works, on SARS’ website.

What Happens When You Don't Pay VAT?

Not paying your VAT on time can lead to extra costs for your business. Firstly, if you’re late paying VAT, you’ll face a penalty of 10% on the tax you haven’t paid yet. Plus, every month you delay, interest gets added to what you owe for the VAT from before.

There are also other penalties for not following the rules, designed to stop businesses from claiming they’ve paid more VAT than they have or saying they’ve collected less.

Lets wrap up, it’s clear that navigating the updated VAT registration requirements in South Africa is more critical than ever in 2024. With SARS tightening controls to prevent fraud, businesses are urged to approach VAT registration with diligence and precision.

Fortunately for our customers, Company Partners has been eliminating red tape for South African SME’s since 2006. Our specialized knowledge and dedicated team of 50+ Experts ensures your business not only complies with the new regulations but thrives amidst them.

Join forces with Company Partners today, and experience the confidence of having seasoned professionals by your side, cutting down red tape left right and center.

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