Being business smart means using every allowable input tax deduction you're entitled to, in order to maximise your refunds and claim back every legal cent you can for your business.
While this is a great opportunity to get money back, it can be a lengthy process.
But it doesn't have to be this way for your business.
Use this 10 point refund plan to get your Vat refund quicker
#1: Use eFiling, as your return is captured immediately. SARS takes up to 14 days to capture manual returns and this'll delay your refund.
#2: Don't wait until the 25th – file your Vat refund claim as soon as you can, after the end of your tax period.
#3: Don't make any mistakes on the return. If you do, SARS will delay your refund and you'll have endless headaches trying to rectify it. This will also mean the 21 days allowed them to make a refund won't start running – and you won't get any interest.
#4: Make sure you've submitted all your Vat returns. SARS won't pay any refund if you have outstanding returns.
#5: 'Make sure your returns for all other taxes are up to date, including Customs, PAYE, SDL and UIF. If any of these returns are outstanding, you won't receive your refund,' says the Practical Vat Loose Leaf Service.
#6: Make sure SARS has your correct contact details like the correct email address or mobile phone number for them to contact you.
#7: Make sure SARS has your correct banking details. If not, your refund will bounce and sit with SARS until you provide proof of your correct banking details – this process can take up to a year!
#8: If you don't receive your refund within 21 business days of lodging your return, follow up with your local SARS office or access the 'refund dashboard' link on your e-filing profile. This'll tell you where your refund is in the process. If SARS has dillydallied, demand interest.
#9: Be prepared for a query or audit – have your business's ten biggest tax invoices ready and check they're valid. Also have a summary of your output and input tax calculation on hand. If the invoice is for over R3 000, check that your (the purchaser's) Vat number appears on it.
#10: Check that you've accounted for all of your business's output tax in the relevant tax period. SARS will ask for your input tax and output tax schedules. Check that these figures are correctly filled in on the Vat refund. If they're not, you'll have to provide evidence to substantiate any adjustments.
Using this plan will help you get your company's Vat refund faster and increase your company's cash flow.