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Do you need to have an original tax invoice in your possession before you can claim input VAT?

30 June 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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Author: SAIT Technical

Q: Can a vendor claim input VAT if the tax invoice is scanned and emailed or MUST the tax invoice be an original? Many companies that I ask to send me the original say it is not necessary.

A: A supplier can fax a copy of a tax invoice, but it must be on plain paper.  SARS won't accept a faxed invoice that's on fax paper as opposed to normal paper because it fades and it can't guarantee the integrity of the information. 

We submit that a tax invoice may be sent by e-mail only if the electronic invoicing requirements have been met - see VAT 404 para 13.8.  It basically requires that tax invoices send by email must be sent in encrypted format (at least 128 bytes), over a secure line or contain an electronic signature. 

Disclaimer: Nothing in this query and answer should be construed as constituting tax advice or a tax opinion. An expert should be consulted for advice based on the facts and circumstances of each transaction/case. Even though great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the answer, SAIT do not accept any responsibility for consequences of decisions taken based on this query and answer. It remains your own responsibility to consult the relevant primary resources when taking a decision. 


Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.


The Act requires that a minimum academic and practical requirments be set to register with a controlling body. Click here for the minimum requirements of SAIT.

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