SARS ready to implement VAT increase on 1 April

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is ready to implement the increase in Value-Added Tax (VAT) which comes into effect on 1 April.

Former Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba in the February budget tabled in the National Assembly a 1% increase in VAT to 15% as of 1 April.

On Tuesday, the revenue service said it has been working on changes to the systems that are used to receive VAT declarations made by vendors and calculate any VAT refunds or VAT due to SARS. 

“Changes to the VAT201 form have been made to reflect the increase in the VAT rate. Vendors who use SARS eFiling to submit their VAT return and have saved returns that span periods before and after 1 April 2018 will notice that those saved returns have been removed as they contain incorrect VAT rates,” said the revenue service.

SARS further added that vendors must request a new VAT201 on eFiling.

“SARS would also like to urge vendors to update their systems to align to the new VAT rate in preparation for 1 April 2018. This will minimise confusion for the customer and make it easier for vendors to remain tax compliant and make the correct declarations to SARS.”

The revenue service encouraged vendors to visit the Value Added Tax page on the SARS website where they will find a Pocket Guide and a set of Frequently Asked Questions to assist them in understanding the implications of the increase.

SARS has also set up a dedicated VAT-rate email address at, to which vendors can direct their questions and queries. Vendors may also contact the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277.

Earlier this month, Cabinet announced that it is considering expanding the list of basic goods that will be zero-rated following VAT increase.

South Africa’s VAT system includes 19 basic food items that are zero-rated.

These are:

  • dried beans
  • samp
  • maize meal
  • rice
  • brown bread
  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • vegetable oil
  • mealie rice
  • pilchards in tins
  • edible legumes and pulses of leguminous plants
  • eggs
  • milk
  • dried mealies
  • dairy powder blend
  • lentils
  • cultured milk
  • milk powder
  • brown wheaten meal

VAT had previously been pegged at 14% since 1993. -

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