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Three situations where SARS WON'T pay out your Vat refund...

by , 25 April 2013
While inflation and interest rates may vary, our standard Vat rate has been 14% since April 1993. But this stability doesn't mean business owners automatically understand the reasons why SARS will veto the Vat refund they've claimed...

April marks the 20th anniversary of an increase in Vat from 10% to 14%. 
This could be the longest any country has left Vat unchanged and economists don't expect it to rise soon, either, says The Financial Mail.
That said, many Vat vendors are still in the dark as to when they'll get back the Vat they charge on products and services back from SARS.
Luckily, there are three common circumstances when SARS won't pay you the Vat refund you're due – and they're easy to prevent.
Vat refund veto reason 1: Not keeping financial records as proof for five years
The first situation is when you can't verify the refund when SARS asks you to do so.
If you don't have the relevant financial records as back up, SARS can suspend your payment and any interest on it.
That's why you must keep all records for a period of five years.
Vat refund veto reason 2: Having other outstanding taxes due to SARS
Then, SARS can also refuse to pay your Vat refund if you have other outstanding tax issues, such as not accounting for or paying your personal income tax or employees' PAYE, or owing money to customs.
That's why you must keep all your tax affairs and payments and returns current and up-to-date to ensure smooth payment of your Vat refunds from SARS, explains Dee Bezuidenhout in the Practical Vat Loose Leaf.
Vat refund veto reason 3: Inaccurate banking details
Also remember that SARS only issues payments and refunds by direct, automatic electronic transfer to your bank account.
This means you have to make sure SARS has your full and correct banking details so it can facilitate smooth and uninterrupted refunds.
Because SARS won't pay interest on late refunds where the refund was late because you failed to submit your banking details, explains Bezuidenhout.
But all's not lost.
The good news is that SARS's implemented a case management system to track the progress of Vat assessments, audits and refund payments to significantly increasing the speed and accuracy with which SARS releases legitimate Vat refunds, says FSP Business.
So make sure you're meeting all of SARS' requirements and should see your Vat refund reflected in your bank account soon.

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