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Confused about Vat registration? These answers may help

by , 13 March 2014
While Vat registration has been around for many years, Vat vendors still struggle with this process. That's why today we're answering some of the most common questions regarding Vat registration our readers have had.

Five Vat registration questions answered

#1: What are the requirements for Vat registration?

Experts at FSP Business say to register for Vat, your business must meet the following requirements set out by Vat law:

  1. Your business must be an enterprise;
  2. Your business must exceed a turnover threshold; and
  3. Your business mustn't supply exempt supplies only.

#2: What's the turnover threshold for Vat registration?

The Practical Vat Loose Leaf Service says before you register for Vat, you must consider the turnover amounts. These amounts are for any period of 12 months. They're as follows:

  • If your turnover is more than R1million, you're legally liable to register for Vat
  • If your turnover is less than R1million but more than R50 000, you can register for Vat voluntarily.
  • If your turnover is less than R50 000, you aren't allowed to register for Vat because this is a minimum threshold (R60 000 for commercial accommodation)

#3: I have two businesses? Does this mean I need two Vat numbers?

Experts at the Accounting & Tax Club say you must get two separate Vat numbers under these conditions: If your businesses vary widely from each other, you can get a unique Vat number for each business. But you must prove that they have separate accounting systems. They must also be separate based on the nature of what you're selling, or the location of the business.

The experts say if, on the other hand, your two separate businesses are simply branches or divisions of one overarching enterprise, you only need one Vat number. You must combine the turnover of all the businesses in your name to see if it reaches the R1 million mark. If they do, registering for Vat is compulsory. Read more about this here.


Any person who is liable to register for Vat but fails to do so is guilty of an offence and may be liable to a fine or two years imprisonment.

Don't get caught out!


For the rest of the questions, we've turned to SARS for the answers.

#4: Why should I register for Vat?

You must register for Vat if you intend participating in the Vat system.

#5: How do I register for Vat?

You register for Vat by completing and submitting a Vat 101 form with the requested supporting documents. Click here to read all about the supporting documents for Vat registration.

We hope these answers will give you more clarity on the Vat registration process. Feel free to ask more questions here.

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