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The most surprising thing I learnt at the Tax Indaba that you need to know

by , 23 September 2015
I recently attended the Vat session of the Tax Indaba 2015 presented by the South African Institute of Tax Practitioners. I was on the panel with leading VAT experts presenting and discussing all the recent changes and amendments in Vat legislation. I was surprised to see a number of senior SARS staff attending the Indaba.

While we debated whether the rate of Vat should go up and if that's good, or potentially devastating for South Africa, one thing is certain... There are many changes to Vat law that are already in effect. And as a Vat vendor you must know about and adhere to these. This is what I want to talk to you about today.

For instance, did you know:
  • As a VAT vendor, you now not only have to know what the VAT Act says but also how the Tax Administration Act affects your business. This Act can put you out of business with penalties up to 200%.
  • The Tax Administration Act changes the time limits for vendors to submit information to SARS;
  • There are new rules surrounding how you object to SARS' assessments in the SARS dispute resolutions; or
  • That you may now have to levy Vat on imported electronic services?
I counted many changes in total that affect your statutory Vat obligations! And most of these changes have been in effect for six months already. So it was totally surprising to me that most of the vendors I spoke to at the Tax Indaba were unaware of all the changes! 
SARS leaves it up to you to figure out and implement these changes.If you're still calculating and declaring your Vat the same as you were in March this year, you've become  SARS' next target for a Vat audit!
So you could check the Government Gazette for these changes, but you'll need to go back for at least 18 months to make sure you're covered. If you can read it and understand all the legal jargon, then you're good to go. Just make sure you read it in conjunction with the current binding general rulings too. And be sure to skip the ones that are now outdated or you'll still have a Vat compliance issue!
Or, I could show you a simpler, sure-fire way to get the info you need and understand how to apply it correctly!
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Don't become SARS' next target for a Vat Audit
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As the previous head of Vat at SARS and now the Editor in Chief of the best-sellingPractical Vat Loose Leaf Service, I appreciate the number of challenges Vat vendors have with compliance. It's so easy for a vendor to miss the mark especially where a special rule applies. I would know. I wrote much of the Vat law. But you don'thave to leave yourself open to an audit.
This is why I'm happy to let you know that my colleague Dee Bezuidenhout who also worked with me at SARS, is hosting the annual Vat Masterclass Seminar 2015.
This year she'll not only cover the tricky Vat compliance issues but she'll also discuss the latest Vat Act changes that affect your business. And as an ex-SARS auditor, she's bringing you the mock Vat audit... She'll walk you through the vat audit triggers that you could accidentally set off, the entire audit process, your rights under the Vat Act during an audit, SARS responsibilities and more so you're armed and ready to take SARS on. Plus you'll get 13 CPD points!
Here's more detail on the course.
Here's what Lyn Bartlet a Bookkeeper had to say about the Vat Masterclass. She attended the one in DBN earlier this year...
'The best Vat course I've attended in 43 years!'
Yours in Vat,
Peter Franck
Editor-In-Chief: The Practical Vat Loose Leaf Service
P.S. Look out for my next issue of the The Practical Vat Loose Leaf Service where I'm focusing on the new rules on the SARS Dispute Resolution Process - how to object to a SARS decision. And the new interpretation note for Vat treatment on a going concern. Here's how to get your copy with a 30 day money back guarantee.

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