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Where a vendor is liable for VAT a month before obtaining a VAT number from SARS

Monday, 12 January 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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Author: SAIT Technical

Q: A customer of mine registered his company for VAT during October 2014. Apparently SARS approved his VAT registration in December, but stating that he is liable for VAT from 1 November 2014. He has already invoiced his customers in November with no VAT.  Should he now re-invoice? How do I calculate his VAT return?

A: The Value-Added Tax Act or SARS guides don’t deal with the issue raised.  

We don’t know if the application to be registered was made under section 23(1)(a) (more than R1 million) or not.  Our guidance will therefore be general in nature – all references to sections are to sections in the Value-Added Tax Act.  The effective date of registration depends on this.  See also section 23(4).  

In terms of the legislation a person (company) can only issue a tax invoice if it is a registered vendor.  Section 7 also refers to the supply by a vendor.  Of course a vendor includes a person who is required to be registered, but we don’t know if that is the case.  That then means that the person (you refer to a customer) not registered as a vendor can’t levy output tax.  We don’t know if the person requested an earlier effective date. If so we suggest you escalate the matter to a senior SARS official to obtain a registration number.  

We submit that the best course of action would be to ask SARS for an opinion of how to treat this if they backdated the effective date.  

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.

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