ANNOUNCEMENT 12 Dec 2013In December 2013, the government of South Africa announced a change in import formalities.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
Act No. 31 of 2013: Taxation Laws Amendment Act, 2013, published in the Government Gazette of 12 December 2013: http://www.treasury.gov.za/legislation/acts/2013/Act%2031%20of%202013.pdf
Government Regulation R. 221, published in the Government Gazette of 28 March 2014: http://www.sars.gov.za/AllDocs/LegalDoclib/SecLegis/LAPD-LSec-Reg-2014-03%20-%20Regulation%20R221%20GG%2037489%2028%20March%202014.pdf
Lexology.com, 19 December 2013, 'South Africa: with effect from 1 April 2014 VAT registration will be required for foreign suppliers of e-commerce services': http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=6cefc09d-8004-40e8-afb9-e38ba3e39390
On 12 December 2013, the Presidency of South Africa gazetted Act No. 31 (Taxation Laws Amendment Act, 2013). In article 165, the Value-Added Tax Act is amended so as to require foreign suppliers of electronic services to South African residents, or whenever the payment for those services originates from a South African bank, to register as a South African VAT vendor. As such, they will be required to levy VAT on their sales at the rate of 14%.
Small vendors, achieving sales of less than R 50,000 (approx. US$ 4,560) per period of twelve months, are exempted from this obligation - this is markedly lower than the threshold for all other taxable supplies at R 1,000,000 (approx. US$ 91,175). The lower threshold for electronic services was introduced to level the playing field between local and foreign suppliers of electronic services.
A later Regulation, R. 221 of 28 March 2014, defined which electronic services are to be included under the new VAT provisions, i.e.:
The measure was originally scheduled to enter into effect on 1 April 2014, but this was subsequently postponed to 1 June 2014.