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The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has launched a new automated VAT assessment system, which registered VAT taxpayers in the country need to familiarise themselves with.

Launched on 11 December 2023, the new system will automatically issue assessments for VAT taxpayers who fail to submit necessary verification documents on time.

One of the most notable aspects of the new system is that corrections will not be allowed for the same period once an automated VAT assessment is issued.

Key issues of the changes 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.

Timely compliance with SARS requirements will significantly impact how VAT vendors manage their submissions and handle assessments.

SARS will continue to aggressively target non-compliant taxpayers this year as part of its wider bid to increase tax collections.