Two circumstances when you won't get your refund back from SARS
1. SARS can suspend your payment and any interest on it, if you can't verify the refund when SARS asks you to do so (Section 45, Vat
Act), or they can't get hold of you.
This is only a reminder of how important are in fact a correct record-keeping and the issuing of valid tax
invoices. You must keep meticulous and accurate records.
Also, don't forget that you must keep all records for a period of five years!
2. The other case refers to the situation when SARS will refuse to pay your Vat
refund if you have other outstanding tax
issues, such as not accounting for or paying your personal income tax
or employees' PAYE, or owing money to Customs!
Note that you must keep all your tax
affairs and payments and returns current and up-to-date to ensure smooth payment of your refunds.
Now that you know about when you won't get your refund, let's look at the duties you have to SARS that will ensure you do.
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Here's what happens once you've submitted your Vat refund return!
• SARS captures it on its system; and
• The refund is screened to decide if an audit is needed. If it is, you'll receive a 'Vat review letter' in your email inbox and on your e-filing, or the SARS auditor will contact you to make arrangements to conduct the audit.
Your duties, once you've submitted your return to SARS:
1. Keep all relevant invoices and other documents on hand in case SARS contacts you for an audit.
2. Make sure all your other taxes are up to date and you owe nothing to SARS.
3. If you owe SARS money, SARS will use your refund to settle the other taxes, penalties and interest.
4. If you're due a refund, SARS must pay it over within 21 business days – that includes their audit time.(Start counting this from the day you submit your Vat
return. Make sure you're available for SARS within that 21 business days.)
5. When the 21 business days are up, check your bank statement or your eFiling work page. If SARS hasn't paid your refund over yet, it must pay you interest on it. (The interest is calculated per day after the 21st day of business following submission of your return, based on the official rate at that time.)
Don't forget that if SARS wants to audit your documents when a refund is due to you, it must do so within 21 business days. If not, you must insist on the interest!