How to claim your VAT Refund
Simply identify yourself as a foreign tourist to the shop assistant, and request a Tax invoice for the goods you have purchased. A Tax invoice must contain all of the following information:
- The words Tax Invoice
- The seller's name and address
- The seller's VAT registration number (a ten digit number, starting with a 4)
- The date of issue of the tax invoice
- A tax invoice number
- A full description of the goods purchased, second hand goods must be indicated as such
- The cost of the goods supplied in Rands
- The amount of VAT charged, or a statement that VAT at the rate of 14% is included in the total cost of the goods
- In the case of purchases over R5 000.00, the purchaser's name and physical address and the quantity or volume of the goods must appear on the tax invoice.
- Only the person whose name appears on the invoice may claim the refund.
Where the tax invoices are issued in both the husband and wife’s name eg. Mr. J and Mrs J Jones, the passport copies of both the husband and the wife should be submitted for VAT refund purposes.
a VAT refund that does not have the purchaser’s name and physical address printed on the invoice by the South African vendor who supplied the goods, will not be processed for VAT refund purposes.
Tax invoices exceeding R5 000.00 that have been generated by a point of sale system that does not reflect the purchaser’s name and address but which are accompanied by proof of payment reflecting the purchaser’s name, for example a credit card payment slip, will be considered.
In the event that you are in possession of an invoice exceeding R5 000.00 that does not comply with the above requirement, you may obtain a “copy tax invoice” from the South African vendor which reflects the purchaser’s name and physical address. The “copy tax invoice” together with the original invoice endorsed with a “VRA goods inspected” stamp may then be lodged for processing. In the event that the claim is lodged by post, the documents must be accompanied by a copy of the claimant’s passport reflecting entry and exit stamps from South Africa.
Inspections must be evidenced by an endorsement on the relevant tax invoice by a VAT Refund official or a South African Customs official.
Should you depart from Johannesburg International Airport, Durban International Airport or Cape Town International Airport, you must present your purchases as well as the relevant tax invoices to a RSA Customs official or VAT Refund official for inspections. If your purchases are too large to be kept as hand-luggage, you must present the goods and relevant tax invoices to a RSA Customs official or VAT Refund official prior to the goods being checked in with the airline.
No Inspection No refund!
Should you depart from one of the airports or harbours listed below, you must present your purchases and the relevant tax invoices to a South African Customs official.