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Does SARS pay interest on delayed VAT refunds?

Tuesday, 14 April 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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Author: SAIT Technical

Q: Our client VAT refund for September 2014 was only recently paid out with no interest. Does SARS not pay interest on delayed VAT refunds? If they do how do we apply for this?

A: Section 45(1) of the VAT Act clearly shows SARS must still pay out interest on delayed refunds:

"Where the Commissioner does not within the period of 21 business days after the date on which the vendor’s return in respect of a tax period is received by an office of the South African Revenue Service refund any amount refundable in terms of section 44 (1), interest shall be paid on such amount at the prescribed rate (but subject to the provisions of section 45A) and calculated for the period commencing at the end of the first-mentioned period to the date of payment of the amount so refundable…”

 There are a few provisos to s45(1) where the 21 business days will be counted from a (later) date other than that on which the VAT return was submitted. In calculating the interest due to the taxpayer, you’d therefore have to calculate the interest bearing in mind the provisos.

You can request SARS to pay out the interest by emailing a letter to their regional PCC email box.

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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