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If your Vat records are digital, follow these seven rules or SARS won't accept them

by , 20 October 2014
If SARS does a Vat audit on your business, it will check all your records. These records can be physical books, paper-based, electronic or accounting system charts and codes.

With the way you run your business becoming more and more digital, the chances are most of your records are electronic.

This is a very effective option, but you must be careful. SARS has seven rules when it comes to electronic Vat records.

Read on to find out what these rules are.


Seven rules your company must follow for keeping digital Vat records

1. Maintain a proper audit trail.
2. Always keep the necessary equipment to reproduce paper copies of the scanned documents at your premises.
3. If you scan paper copies of the documents into your company, you must clearly mark them as 'copy'.
4. Maintain an effective index of the scanned documents.
5. Your database mustn't permit any alteration or manipulation of the scanned documents.
6. Your scanned and, subsequently printed documents, should be of good quality and be easy to read.
7. Keep all the original paperwork for a year. This allowance doesn't apply to ledgers, cash books, journals and paid cheques.
Here's why SARS has these rules.
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You can get all your business tax questions answered by our experts for FREE thanks to the Vat Helpdesk… 
It comes standard with your Digital Practical Vat Guide. 
Click here for your copy. 

SARS has these seven rules for a very particular reason

Because it's possible to alter a document on your computer, SARS requires you to keep the originals so you can't just change it. 
If it does a field audit on your business, it will want to take copies of your documents. If they are electronic, it needs a way to obtain them physically.
Basically these rules ensure you can't manipulate your documents or hide them from SARS. Stick to them so it doesn't punish you.
Check out the Practical vat Loose Leaf Service for more on how to comply with SARS' rules. 

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If your Vat records are digital, follow these seven rules or SARS won't accept them
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