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Must I re-issue a tax invoice to a customer if one digit in the VAT number is incorrect?

Tuesday, 12 May 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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Author: SAIT Technical

Q: If a digit of the VAT number is incorrectly typed on all a company's customer invoices, is it necessary to re-issue the customers new invoices?

A: The Act doesn’t deal with this and SARS has also not provided any information that can assist in this regard.  Section 20 of the Value-Added Tax Act requires that the VAT registration number of the supplier must appear on the tax invoice and this of course assumes that it is the correct one.  The Act then doesn’t allow for an invoice to be amended because of an error in this number of any other detail, such as address or name, etc. 

We submit that it should be treated as an incorrect invoice that was issued and a replacement one be issued.  We however suggest that the matter be taken up with SARS and a ruling obtained from them on how to deal with this. 

Potentially it could present a problem to a recipient if they deduct input tax and SARS audits the supporting documents.  A wrong VAT registration number will in all probability be seen by them as not a valid tax invoice and they actually test this from time to time. 

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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