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Maximise your cashflow with these business travel Vat claims

by , 11 November 2013
Did you know that you can claim back the input tax from your local business travel? Well, you can! But you do need to take care not to make claims for the types of travel that don't qualify.

Below, the Vat experts at the Practical Vat Loose Leaf explain everything you need to know about claiming local travel costs back…
Here's everything you need to know about claiming back the input tax on local travel costs
❑ Local public transport of passengers by rail or road, where you pay a fare for the transport, is exempt from Vat.
❑ International (or cross-border) transport of goods and passengers by rail or road is subject to Vat at the zero rate (e.g. Johannesburg to Windhoek).
❑If the travel by road or rail is partly local and partly international, then the Vat must be apportioned accordingly (e.g. separate tickets from Bloemfontein to Johannesburg and then Johannesburg to Harare).
❑ Domestic air travel is subject to Vat at the standard rate of 14%. If you're a registered vendor and travel on company business in South Africa, you can claim back the 14% Vat on your air ticket and the ACSA passenger service charge.
❑ International air travel is subject to Vat at the zero rate.
❑If a domestic stop is part of an international air ticket (e.g. Johannesburg to London, but stopping in Cape Town), then the entire ticket price will be subject to Vat at the zero rate.
❑Foreign-registered airlines operating in and out of South Africa have to register as a vendor for Vat purposes and levy Vat. They are seen to be carrying on an enterprise partly in South Africa. This suits them because international travel is zero-rated and any Vat they pay qualifies as input tax.
If you do your travel reservation through an agent, make sure he gives you a tax invoice (or keep a print out of your e-ticket). And if the agent charges a separate fee for his service, that fee is standard rated for domestic travel and zero rated for international travel.
Remember that there are dozens of other expenses on which you can claim back input tax, to save your business money – including the company vehicle (as long as it's the type of vehicle that's approved by SARS!). 

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