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Facing a VAT audit? Make sure you have these nine financial records at hand...

by , 28 April 2017
Nothing causes more panic in a business owner than receiving a notice from SARS that your business is facing a VAT audit. But most of the panic comes from uncertainty of what to expect.

You may not even have done anything wrong, so don't worry.

Your VAT audit may have been triggered simply because your accountant entered a zero in the wrong spot on your VAT return. And having these nine documents on hand during an audit could mean your audit is over before it even started.

Let's have a look at them.

Ex-SARS auditor reveals: How to survive your VAT audit

CORRESPONDENCE FOR YOUR ATTENTION

SARS has issued correspondence, which requires your attention.

To view this, kindly log into your eFiling profile and either navigate to the respective Work Page or to the SARS Correspondence menu.

For any queries please contact the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 SARS (7277) between 08:00 - 17:00 (excluding weekends and public holidays).

Sincerely

ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE


If you've received this letter, PANIC! If not, you should check your eFiling profile immediately.

It means SARS has selected you for a VAT audit. And chances are you don't even know where to start.

What has SARS picked up that you missed? Did your accountant or auditor disclose the wrong figures? How much do you now owe SARS? How long will it take to resolve?

But, you don't need to let fear and panic take over. In the latest update to the Practical VAT Handbook, which comes out this week, I'll show you how to deal with this letter when you get it. And how to prepare for your VAT audit.
 
Here's what else you'll discover...





Nine items SARS will investigate if your business faces a VAT audit!

Even if it's a VAT audit you're facing, remember that SARS will want to check the overall financial records of your business. They'll look at these nine financial records:
  1. Your VAT return totals will be checked against your general ledger and summary.
  2. Your VAT control account will be reviewed to test your accounting system for errors.
  3. SARS will check if Vat interest and penalties were added back into your records.
  4. Your tax invoices will be selected and tested – make sure they clearly state 'tax invoice' and not VAT invoice!
  5. Your debtors will be checked.
  6. SARS will investigate how you've classified your trade.
  7. A record of any previous audits will be examined.
  8. Your type of taxable supplies will be checked.
  9. SARS will also go through your history of VAT refunds for any mistakes that've been carried over.
Lastly, SARS will look at the value of your assets and liabilities when you registered for VAT as well as your capital assets acquired to ensure you're making the correct capital gains tax claims.



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