Lexis® Practical Guidance: VAT

Why Lexis® Practical Guidance: VAT?

Lexis® Practical Guidance VAT is an online, practical tool that provides up-to-date information and practical guidance on VAT-related matters. Offering assistance on vital aspects such as the registering for VAT, submission of VAT documents, avoidance of penalties and VAT rulings, this product is the perfect addition to our well-received Practical Guidance Income Tax practice area.
Practical Guidance VAT provides customisable forms, precedents and checklists for users to download at their convenience. These useful resources make reference to relevant legislation throughout and also include accompanying explanatory notes on the respective rules and procedures to follow. Interpretation Notes, Binding General Rulings and Guides Issued by SARS are just some of the additional practical aids that users will have access to.

With Lexis® Practical Guidance: VAT you get:

Convenient online access to:
  • More than 180 Guidance Notes within 34 Topics
  • Over 70 forms, precedents, checklists and other additional resources to ensure not a single step is missed
  • Legislation & Case Law – access to relevant cases at the click of a button
  • Practice Directives – know what the procedure is in different courts
  • 45 Other Useful Resources such as flowcharts, external websites and additional readings
Guidance on each step taken in Income VAT:
  • The VAT system
  • The Tax Administration Act
  • Registering for VAT and Deregistration
  • VAT payments
  • Zero-rated, exempt and deemed supplies
  • Time and value of supply
  • Importation of goods and services
  • Input tax and special input tax rules
  • Apportionment
  • Denial of input tax
  • Tax invoices, debit and credit notes
  • General adjustments and change in use
  • Penalties and interest
  • Assessments, objections and appeals
  • Dispute resolution and alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
  • Rulings

Guidance Notes

Useful reference material that offers direct access to relevant case law, legislation and commentary works, and practical know-how on specific areas within VAT.
A few key guidance notes are outlined below. The full list can be viewed in the complete table of contents.

VAT and the Tax Administration Act

Understanding the Tax Administration Act can be difficult for less experienced attorneys.
This guidance note offers clear and simple explanations via:

  • A succinct list and discussion of the most important principles of the Tax Administration Act.
  • Other resources such as the SARS Short Guide to the Tax Administration Act which assists taxpayers in understand their obligations and entitlements under the Tax Administration Act.

VAT Registration Process

The VAT registration can be complex and lengthy. This guidance note simplifies things with an outline of the entire VAT registration process as well as supplying all the customisable forms and documents needed for the entire process, including:

  • the VAT101 Application for registration
  • Guide for completion of VAT registration application.

How to Apply for an Advance Ruling

The procedure to apply for an advance ruling is governed by Chapter 7 of the Tax Administration Act. This guidance note provides:

  • An outline of the application process
  • The submission timelines and deadlines
  • Resources such as an example of a binding ruling application.

Practical Aids

Precedents, checklists and forms that can be used to offer advice confidently and execute tasks accurately.
A few key resources are listed below. The full list can be viewed in the complete table of contents.

    SARS Short Guide to the Tax Administrative Act
  • assists taxpayers in understanding their obligations and entitlements under the Tax Administration Act.

    VAT Form 101 – VAT Registration Application Form
  • It is mandatory for any business to register for VAT if the enterprise has a taxable supply turnover in excess of R1 000 000 (the compulsory threshold) in a consecutive twelve-month period.
  • This form must be submitted in person at a SARS branch nearest to the place where the business is situated or carried on.
  • A registered tax practitioner may appear in person on behalf of the applicant.

  • VAT 201 – Return for Remittance of VAT
  • A declaration which must be completed and submitted to SARS at the end of every tax period, by the due date, even if there is no payment required for the tax period.
  • It reflects the VAT charged on supplies or situations where output tax must be declared and the amounts that a vendor is entitled to deduct as input tax.
  • The difference between these amounts for a specific tax period could either result in the payment of the difference to SARS or a refund from SARS.

    VAT Form 117 – Application Form for Change in Accounting Basis
  • The form submitted by a vendor to apply for a change in accounting basis.
  • Applicable when a vendor wants to adopt a more suitable system for his/her type of business.
  • This involves a change from the invoice to the payments basis, or vice versa, depending on the advantages and disadvantages for the particular business.
    VAT 411 – Guide for Entertainment, Accommodation and Catering
  • Involves the application of VAT law regarding supplies of goods or services which fall into the category of "entertainment".
  • Serves as a supplement to the VAT 404 Guide for Vendors which deals with the general operation of VAT.
  • It focuses on businesses which supply accommodation, food, beverages and other goods and services which are necessary to provide some form of hospitality or entertainment experience.

  • Registration of Body Corporate as a VAT Vendor (in terms of Section 12(f) of the Value Added Tax Act.
  • The supply will be exempt where the cost of supplying services to members within management is covered by contributions levied by the body corporate, share block or housing development scheme, of a:
      - body corporate of a sectional titles scheme;
      - share block company;
      - housing development scheme for retired persons; or
      - home-owners associations
  • Home-owners associations became exempt from 1 April 2014 with the effect that currently registered home-owners associations must deregister, but may pay the VAT due on deregistration over a 6-month period.
  • A body corporate who is exempt from VAT and who wished to register as a VAT vendor in terms of Section 12(f) will use this precedent.


  Alwyn de Koker

BCom (Cape Town) MCom (Wits) CA (SA), HDip Tax Law (Wits), Professor of Taxation, School of Accountancy, University of the Witwatersrand

Currently a Professor of Taxation in the School of Accountancy at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Alwyn obtained his BComm degree from the University of Cape Town and has a Masters of Commerce in Taxation and a Higher Diploma in Taxation from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He is a member of the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board in South Africa and of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the LLM International Tax Programme presented by the School of Law at St Thomas University in Miami, United States of America, and serves as a member of their Board of Academic Advisors He was formerly an Honorary Professor in the School of Law at Regent University, Virginia Beach, USA. He is an Executive Board member of the Royal Society of Fellows and an Advisory Board member of the Foundation for Fiscal Studies. He is also an Advisory Board member and of the Royal Society of Fellows Law Review.
Professor de Koker is the Programme Co-ordinator of the M Com in Taxation presented by the School of Accountancy at the University of the Witwatersrand. He has received significant awards such as Distinguished Lecturer in the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management (University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg). He has delivered papers on international tax at various conferences worldwide and published extensively. He is the author, of Silke on South African Income Tax, the Silke Tax Yearbook, as well as  and co-author of Value-Added Tax in South Africa published by LexisNexis.

  Gerhard Badenhorst

BCom (RAU) BCom (Hons) (RAU) MCom (RAU) CA(SA), H Dip Tax Law (RAU), Tax Director: Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Gerhard Badenhorst is a Director in Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr’s Tax and Exchange Control practice. He is a chartered accountant and specialises in value-added tax (“VAT”) matters in various industries, including the financial services, mining and property industries. Gerhard acts for various private, public and multinational corporations and non-profit organisations. He is a guest lecturer on VAT at the University of Pretoria and the University of the Witwatersrand and serves as a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants VAT sub-committee, and as an ad hoc member of the VAT sub-committee of the Davis Tax Committee.

  Ferdie Schneider

B.Com (University of Johannesburg), M.Com (Economics), Certificate (International Taxation), M.Com (South African and International Taxation)

Ferdie Schneider is presently the National Head of Tax at BDO, Johannesburg. Ferdie has over 20 years' experience in Tax, specifically Indirect Tax and VAT. He has consulted to National Treasury on various aspects of public finance and lectures to Masters Students at various universities. Ferdie presents at various seminars on tax and VAT and is published in a number of professional publications. He co-authored a textbook on VAT, was the editor of the Practical VAT Handbook and has written various technical articles for a range of business and tax publications. Ferdie co-chaired a VAT Credit Retail focus group with SARS to investigate direct attribution and VAT apportionment in the credit retail industry (2010) and is currently a member of the National SAICA VAT Committee.

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