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Attention: SARS will only accept these four Vat record formats

by , 20 October 2014
You have to keep records of your company's transactions. SARS needs these records when it comes to your company's tax and Vat compliance.

But it won't accept any old Vat record! Hand-written invoices on serviettes definitely don't count.

There are actually only four specific formats you can use or SARS will reject your documents.

Read on to discover what four Vat record formats SARS will accept so it doesn't penalise you...


SARS will only accept your Vat records if they're in one of these formats

1. Physical books;
2. Paper-based source documents;
3. Electronic records or;
4. Details of your accounting system like charts and codes.
You must have the correct Vat documents in one of these formats because they're easy to organise, handle and assess. This makes it easy for you and the SARS auditor to use these documents correctly.
I know this sounds pernickety, but there's a good reason for SARS' request.

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Here's why you must keep Vat records in the correct format

Whatever Vat records you keep serve one defined purpose: To enable SARS auditors to  assess your company's compliance. They should
• Establish the nature, time and value of all taxable supplies; and
• Assist SARS to reconcile your accounting records with the Vat returns you submit.
Your records must be available for inspection by SARS at any reasonable time during the period of prescription, which is generally five years. 
These records need to be in the correct format so a SARS inspector can easily assess them. If you keep lots of loose, hand-written notes or receipts, it's impossible for the auditor to accurately assess your compliance. 
This will just land you in trouble and earn you hefty penalties.
So always keep your documents in the right formats. It's an easy way to avoid getting in trouble.
PS. Check out the Practical Vat Loose Leaf Service for more useful tips to comply with SARS' Vat rules.

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