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General information on tax refunds for tourists

General information on tax refunds for tourists

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Tourists must take note of the following rules and regulations before they attempt to file a VAT refund from SARS:

  1. Only the original tax invoices will be considered for VAT refund purposes.
  2. Only claims where the value of the goods exported at one time exceed R 250.00 or more will be considered for a VAT refund. Please note that the R250.00 is the value of all invoices and not the minimum value per invoice.
  3. Goods consumed and services rendered in South Africa do not qualify for a VAT refund. Where movable goods are temporarily admitted into the RSA, for the purposes of repair or servicing, the movable goods and services supplied in connection therewith, may be supplied at the zero rate, provided that the non-resident must obtain a form VAT 262 at the point of entry into the RSA. The non-resident can then approach the RSA vendor from the outset on the strength of the VAT 262 form, duly endorsed by RSA Customs and Excise and request the supply to be zero rated. The form VAT 262 will be retained by the RSA vendor for record purposes.
  4. Items purchased in South Africa, must be exported within 90 days of the date of issue of the tax invoice. Failing to do so will ensure that the VAT refund claim will be rejected.
  5. A commission of 1.3% of the VAT inclusive is charged to cover the administration costs of the VAT Refund Scheme. The minimum amount per chrge must be R10.00 and it cannot exceed R250.00.
  6. Diplomats posted in South Africa should contact their Embassies or the South African Revenue Service for details of the VAT refund scheme applicable to them.