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VAT Refund Administrator (“VRA”) – VAT Refund Claims

10 November 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: PwC South Africa
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Author: PwC South Africa

The VRA is an entity appointed by the South African Revenue Services ("SARS”) to administer VAT refund claims on movable goods purchased and exported from South Africa, by qualifying purchasers not registered for VAT.

Qualifying purchasers generally include foreign businesses purchasing movable goods from South African suppliers on which VAT at 14% was charged, and where the foreign purchaser is responsible for exporting the goods from South Africa via road, rail, sea or air through a designated commercial port.

Where movable goods of a qualifying purchaser are exported from South Africa by a cartage contractor, the qualifying purchaser is not required to present themselves at the port of exportation.

In the event that the qualifying purchaser is in possession of all documentary proof as required by the VAT Act, the qualifying purchaser may be entitled to reclaim the VAT charged by the South African suppliers from the VRA.

The documentary proof required by the VRA, include among others:

  • The original tax invoice in respect of the goods purchased in South Africa; 
  • Copy of the qualifying purchaser’s trading license; 
  • Copy of the cartage contractor’s tax invoice issued to the qualifying purchaser; 
  • Proof of payment for the supply of goods from the South African vendor; 
  • Export and customs documentation (SAD 500, CN1, CN2, EDI release notification); and 
  • In the case of registrable goods, proof of registration in the export country is required (copy of registration certificate, certified by a commissioner of oaths). 

General requirements for a VRA claim 

Goods must be exported within 90 days from the date that the tax invoice is issued by the South African supplier.

A request for a refund (and all required documents) should be received by the VRA no later than 3 months of the date of export.

VRA Commission

The VRA will deduct an administration fee for each VAT refund claim processed. These fees may change from time to time, as agreed between the VRA and SARS.

This article first appeared on


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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