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Do this to ensure your Vat payments stay in SARS' good books

by , 15 October 2014
SARS is one of those institutions you don't want to pick a fight with - especially when it comes to Vat payments.

If you don't adhere to your duty to make timely Vat payments, it can hit you with penalties of up to 200% or, worse, send you to jail.

In fact, according to experts behind the Practical Vat Loose Leaf Service, more than 250 SA vendors are currently serving jail time for disobeying Vat law. And SARS was responsible for ensuring they were brought to book.

To avoid the wrath of SARS, we recommend you do the following four things to ensure your Vat payments stay in SARS' good books.

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Stay on SARS' good side by doing these four things when it comes to your Vat payments

#1: Keep your current Vat returns and payments up-to-date. This prevents SARS from penalising you and charging you interest. It also shows SARS you're trying to be compliant.
#2: SARS charges Vat interest monthly. So try to pay any Vat that's in arrears by the last day of the month. If you pay the next day, SARS will charge you interest for the whole month!
#3: When paying off arrear Vat, penalties and interest, always try to clear particular tax periods in full. Otherwise, SARS will simply take the payment for penalties and interest. This means, interest will continue to run on Vat still due.
#4: If SARS remits the penalty, it won't usually refund it, but will show it as 'unallocated payments' on the account statement for that tax year. You must write to SARS 'Accounts Maintenance' at your local office and ask them to allocate the amount to a future tax period and reduce the payment for that tax period accordingly.
Knowing what to do to stay in SARS' good books will help ensure you avoid harsh penalties or jail time.
PS: We strongly recommend you check out the Practical Vat Loose Leaf Service. It gives you even more tips, tools and advice to comply with the Vat Act.

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