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Municipalities and Vat: How to deal with Vat when water boards are involved

by , 02 October 2013
One of the transactions municipalities must deal with are water boards. If you handle Vat affairs for your municipality, read on to discover how to deal with Vat when there are water boards involved so you can comply with the Vat Act.

According to the Practical Vat Loose Leaf Service, the Vat Act was changed to make it easier for municipalities to administer Vat. But for municipalities, Vat is still a complex issue.

This is because of the unique nature of their activities and their relationship with government on the one hand and with businesses and customers on the other.

While Vat for municipalities may be complex, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Especially when dealing with water boards from a Vat perspective.

Are you a municipality? Here's how to get the Vat treatment of water boards right

So what exactly is a water board?

A water board is involved in water management and supplies bulk drinkable water to various municipalities.

Here are the three features of water boards:

  • Water boards are neither municipal entities, or municipalities.
  • Water boards are public entities and are listed as National Government Business Enterprises.
  • A water board also falls within the definition of 'designated entity'. This means any payments either a municipality or a public authority makes to a water board will include Vat at the standard rate, as long as the payment is for taxable supplies made by the entity.

Basically, a water board isn't part of a municipality. A municipality will buy bulk water from the water board and pay Vat on it.

This means sales of water to municipalites are subject to Vat at the 14% standard rate. Grants from Government for water boards will also be subject to Vat at the 14% standard rate.

It's that simple. Knowing how to treat Vat when water boards are involved will help ensure your municipality complies with the Vat Act.

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