VAT registration made easy

The vastly simplified and streamlined VAT registration process, which took effect on February 1, should bring a sigh of relief for tax practitioners, says Madeleine Schubert of Shepstone & Wylie's tax department.

The vastly simplified and streamlined VAT registration process, which took effect on February 1, should bring a sigh of relief for tax practitioners, says Madeleine Schubert of Shepstone & Wylie's tax department.

This forms one of several measures to reduce the paperwork and make VAT compliance easier. In his budget, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel raised the VAT registration threshold from an yearly turnover of R300000 to R1 million and announced a presumptive turnover tax as an alternative to income tax and VAT for businesses with an annual turnover less than R1 million.

The threshold for farmers and businesses that submit VAT returns every six months or four months, respectively, was raised from R1,2 million to R1,5 million, says Schubert.

The new VAT101 form announced by SARS differs from its predecessor in the following ways:

l The number of pages has been reduced from seven to four;

l The particulars of only two as opposed to five senior partners, members, directors, shareholders or trustees must be provided; and

l Supporting documentation required has been drastically reduced to the following:

l A copy of the identity number of a sole proprietor or two copies of identity numbers of senior partners/ shareholders/members/ trustees or directors;

l The latest original bank statement or cancelled cheque or original letter from the bank giving banking details;

l If the bank account is not the vendor''s account, a VAT119i form must be completed and submitted with the VAT 101 form; and

l A copy of the identity document or passport of the representative vendor.

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