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Seven things you SHOULD remember when you complete your Vat return

by , 18 December 2013
Vat is a self-assessment tax. So SARS relies on you as the vendor to represent your tax affairs and Vat flows honestly and correctly. This isn't a licence to cut corners or do things incorrectly. You WILL be caught, because the self assessment system is backed up by computer checks, periodic audits and severe penalties. To help you get your Vat return right, keep these seven things in mind when you complete your return.

As mentioned, Vat is a self-assessment system. This creates countless opportunities for mistakes to be made. If SARS believes something on your Vat returns is not right, you could face an audit.

If this happens, you'll have your whole business and life turned upside down, while SARS 'scratches' through everything.

Don't take that risk. Get all your ducks in a row from the start.

Here's what to remember when you complete your Vat return

#1: Request your form. Check on the top right hand side for the selection for the tax period and click on the request button.

#2: Output tax calculations. Remember to fill in the blocks correctly. Check that sales of assets, as well as zero-rated supplies are filled in the correct blocks.

#3: Commercial accommodation. Remember, if your income is only from commercial accommodation, you must fill in blocks 5-7 and NOT block 1.

#4: Input tax calculations. Remember to fill in the blocks correctly.

#5: Imports. Check that imports are in the right place and that your customs importer code is filled in on page 1.

#6: Pay your Vat. If you have to pay, click on the 'pay Vat now' button, and the system will take you through the necessary steps.

#7: Claim your refund. If your return is an amount refundable to you, just click submit and SARS will do the rest.

'Print out a copy of the return submitted and keep it together with your Vat calculations, for each period. This will surely save you any hassle later on should SARS come knocking on your door to do an audit,' advises Philip Rosenberg Managing Editor of VAT201 E-report: The comprehensive guide to completing your Vat return correctly.

Well there you have it. Remembering these seven things when you complete your Vat return will help ensure you always get it right.

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