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Can VAT be claimed on invoices that were back-dated and didn’t contain a VAT number?

Tuesday, 03 February 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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Author: SAIT Technical

Q: We registered a client for VAT in November 2014 but we back dated the application to 2012. The client builds property and then sells them.  The invoices for expenses over R5000 do not have a VAT number on them as these were invoiced prior to the company being registered for VAT. 

Would we still be able to claim the VAT on these expenses even though they are not fully compliant?

Do we need to get the suppliers to put the VAT number on these invoices?

A: Section 16(2) VAT Act only allows an input tax credit where the tax invoice complies with section 20 VAT Act and we are not aware of any exception to this, notwithstanding that section 18(4) provides for such an input claim. However technically section 20(4)(c) VAT Act (i.e. in respect of the recipient vat number on invoice) only applies to registered vendors and the specific person was not such a vendor at the time of the supply and issuance of the invoice. 

We are aware that this is an ongoing problem which the legislature would need to address. Due to the cost implications for claiming inputs that are later disallowed, it is our view that you apply to SARS for a VAT ruling in terms of section 41B Vat Act or a directive under section 20(7) VAT Act to minimise the risk to the vendor, especially as he would have 5 years to claim the input should SARS give a positive ruling. Note that is not an Advance Tax Ruling as applicable in the TAA.

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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