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Four Vat refund rules you need to know so SARS doesn't accuse your company of fraud

by , 10 June 2013
'30 firms face VAT refund fraud charges!' That's the headlines that made news this morning in Thailand when 'the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) asked Krungthai Bank to freeze the accounts of 30 companies suspected of fraudulently claiming 2.6 billion baht in total in refunds of value added tax (Vat),' reports the Bangkok Post. Here's how to ensure your vat refunds are 100% legal so SARS doesn't accuse of something similar...

30 companies in Thailand face prosecution after being accused of filing false documents to the value of 2.6 billion baht (around R857 million) for VAT refunds for exports over the past two months, reports the Bangkok Post.

This comes after the country's DSI uncovered multiple cases of tax fraud and decided to crack down of vat orientated fraud in the country.

This isn't surprising when you consider that Thailand considers Vat tax refund fraud 'more serious than tax evasion since wrongdoers have not paid tax and also claimed tax from the government,' Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong told the Bangkok Post.

Here is South Africa, SARS is just as vigilant about Vat refund fraud. And that's why, before you claim your refund, you need to make sure you've covered all your bases.

Four essential Vat refund rules you MUST stick to...

Here are the four ground rules you need to keep in mind to claim back a refund, according to the Practical Vat Loose Leaf.

1) If your input tax exceeds your output tax, you're entitled to a Vat refund.

2) If your output tax exceeds your input tax, the difference shows the Vat liability you'll have to pay over to SARS.

3) You can't off-set a refund for one tax period against Vat payable for another tax period – but SARS can!

4) You must have documentary proof for every item you claim input tax for. If you can't prove it, or if your records are incomplete or invalid, don't even attempt the claim! SARS conducts periodic audits to verify claims and you'll pay a fixed penalty if you try and evade or postpone paying tax.

By sticking to these four rules, you'll be able to prove to SARS that your Vat refund claims are above board and 100% legal.

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