Is VAT refundable in South Africa?

Old Dec 30th, 2006, 07:07 AM
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Is VAT refundable in South Africa?

What is the policy in SA? Is the VAT refundable on hotels or goods and, if so, how do you file for it?
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Old Dec 30th, 2006, 09:31 AM
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zinfanatic

If you go to:

http://www.taxrefunds.co.za/

you will find all that you need to know about VAT refunds in South Africa.

Here are some unwritten tips that I have learnt about over the years when it comes to VAT repayments in South Africa.

Always try and collect your refunds in the form of a cheque. This cheque will be made out in ZAR however as soon as you are in transit in the airport you will find an ABSA bank who will cash the Rands cheque into whatever currency you want at the present day rate.

ALWAYS pack your purchases in the top part of your suitcase and do not check your luggage in before doing your VAT checkin. You WILL ALWAYS be asked to show the goods or some of the goods that you have purchased.

Try to keep your VAT receipts in the same order as you have packed your goods in your case as this will speed up matters at the VAT checkin

Allocate at least 30 minutes extra at the airport to do your VAT checkin. You might be lucky and beat this time delay however I suggest that you rather play safe and allocate the 30 minutes.

If you are going to be spending more than R21500 (About US$3000) on goods that are VAT repayable then your VAT will exceed R3000. This will mean that you will first have to go through an audit process before you will be paid out. This is a timeous affair which can take days if not weeks. Avoid this as best you can. To escape this process try and purchase goods in your as well as if available a travelling partners name and then submit your VAT seperately.

Enoy South Africa and do make sure that you have your VAT paid out to you , after all it is your money.

Hope this helps.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

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Old Dec 30th, 2006, 10:12 AM
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Selwyn, Thanks for your helpful replies both to this query and to the rental car query I posted several days ago.
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Old Dec 30th, 2006, 02:57 PM
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Also depending on what your last stop is, we were able to do the VAT exchange before we even got to the airport in Cape Town by going to the VAT office down on the Waterfront.
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Old Dec 30th, 2006, 03:15 PM
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knlaw,

To my knowledge if one does the VAT refund function at the Waterfront office then you are not paid out on the spot. The office merely verifies that you have bought the goods and that they are VAT refundable. One only obtains final payment at the airport. Furthermore doing the function at the Waterfront means that one has to take ALL your purchases (not only the ones made in the Waterfront) to the Waterfront office for verification. This can be a real pain if one has purchased much more than just in the Waterfront area. If you dont do this you have to join the line at the airport anyway so as to verify all the non Waterfront purchases. With this being the case it means having to stand in line twice no matter what hence I do not recommend doing VAT refunds in the Waterfront area as you might as well do all in one go and that is at the airport.

Just my twopence worth.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

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Old Dec 31st, 2006, 01:28 AM
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We just did this in Cape Town 3 days ago and it was easy.

At the Waterfront VAT office, we presented our passports, return air tickets, and receipts. We were told NOT to bring the actual items. All the "preliminaries" were done (checking receipts, adding them up, name and address info, etc) at the Waterfront.

We packed all the items we purchased in 1 bag (unless we had them in our carryons) to make things easier. At the airport, before checking in, we went to the VAT refund desk in the international terminal. There is a separate line for those who have had the prelim work done at the Waterfront location, but there was noone ahead of us.

The woman asked for our passports, tickets, and the paperwork - then she asked to see the higher-ticket items, and to show her some of the clothing items we bought. That was it - easy.

Our amount was too much to receive a cash (actually, a check that could be cashed at the airport bank), so our refund will be credited to our credit card.

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