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South African VAT vendors should familiarise themselves with SARS’s recently launched automated VAT assessment system. SARS’ notice, which was issued on 11 December 2023 provides that the new system will automatically issue assessments for those who fail to submit necessary verification documents timeously. Most notably, corrections will not be allowed for the same period once an automated VAT assessment is issued.

Zulfah Mullins, tax compliance officer at Hobbs Sinclair highlights the significance of this update for VAT vendors. Key points include:

  • Estimated assessments will be issued if vendors fail to submit necessary documents during verification.
  • Corrections for the same period are not permitted once an estimated assessment is raised.
  • Vendors disagreeing with the assessment must submit the required documents within 40 business days of receiving the VAT217 notice.
  • Submissions can be made via eFiling, SARS branches, or SARS Online Query System (SOQS).
  • Extensions are available, with conditions.
  • Vendors may request a suspension of payment under certain circumstances.

According to SARS, this system aims to enhance tax compliance and streamline the VAT process. Mullins stresses that the change underlines the importance of timely compliance, as it will significantly impact how VAT vendors manage their submissions and handle assessments.

For detailed information, visit SARS VAT Enhancements.

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