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Don't pay 300% Vat for making a mistake on your Vat return! Use these six tips to complete your Vat return correctly

by , 11 March 2015
Did you know the most important document in the Vat system is your Vat return?

That's because SARS will use the information you've filled in on your Vat return to see if you're a potential risk.

So if:
• Your output or input tax figures are substantially higher or lower than previous periods;
• You fill blocks on your Vat return you don't normally use;
• You claim regular refunds; and/or
• You pay or submit your returns late;
You're a high risk. And SARS will flag you for an audit!

You need to make sure your Vat return is correct!

For example if you declare R1 000 as output tax and R2 000 as input tax, you have a refund due of R1 000. But if your return is incorrect, SARS will reverse your R1 000 input tax deductions and slap you with 200% penalties on your output tax! So you'll pay R1 000 x 200% = R3 000. So you end up paying three times the Vat you declared! That's 300%!

But don't pay 300% Vat! Use these six tips to complete your Vat return correctly...
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Putting a zero in the wrong place on the new Vat Return could trigger your next SARS audit!
Find out how to make sure this never happens to you by getting your Vat Return right every single time.

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Six tips to complete your Vat return correctly
Tip #1:  Always complete and eFile your Vat returns on time! You have until the last business day of the month after the tax period to do so. 
So, for example, if your tax period ends 31 March 2015, you have until 30 April 2015 to submit your return to SARS.
Tip #2:  If you have exempt or zero-rated goods, fill in your figures in their correct blocks. 
If you've sold zero-rated goods, fill this amount into block 2. 
If you've sold exempt goods, fill this amount into block 3. 
Note: Filling amounts in at block 3 will alert SARS! And it may constantly show you up for an audit. So make sure you don't confuse the two!
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Revealed: How to get your Vat refund from SARS within 21 days every time
By law, SARS has to pay you your Vat refund within 21 days! 
So why doesn't it?
Tip #3:  If you export goods, get a customs number. This will be pre-populated on the VAT201 form.  You can't complete block 2A or 14A without this.
Tip #4:  Make sure you show the input tax you claim in the correct blocks.  
Use block 14 only for Vat on assets purchased.  
Use block 15 for the Vat you paid on all your other purchases and expenses.
Tip #5:  If you have bad debts, claim the Vat in block 17.  
Note: You can only claim Vat on bad debts when you write the debt off as irrecoverable (Section 22(1) Vat Law)!
Tip #6: Make a print out of your Vat return and keep it on your files. I know we all want to become paperless, but there's nothing more frustrating than having SARS on the line, and you can't access your eFiling because the power's off, the internet is down, or the computers have been stolen!
P.S. If you want to learn more on bad debts and other input deductions, then the Vat Masterclass is for you!  Click here and take advantage of the early bird offer.

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Don't pay 300% Vat for making a mistake on your Vat return! Use these six tips to complete your Vat return correctly
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