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SARS tax invoice requirements: What you need to know

If you're new to running a business or sending invoices to customers, you might be unsure about what information to include.


In South Africa, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has specific requirements for tax invoices. Ensuring that you include all the necessary information is crucial for compliance.


This is a quick guide to help you understand what's needed, including: 

What is a tax compliant invoice? 

In South Africa, a tax compliant invoice is an invoice that contains all the necessary information to comply with the Value Added Tax (VAT) Act. If any of the required information is left off a tax invoice, VAT can’t be collected on it.

When do I need to create a tax invoice?

If you’re registered for VAT and the invoice amount is over R5,000, you’ll need to create a full tax invoice.

For amounts between R50 and R5,000, you can use an abridged tax invoice.

If the invoice amount is R50 or less, a tax invoice isn’t required.

Also Read: Try QuickBooks Online Accounting Software

What is required on an invoice for it to be tax compliant?

The following information needs to include on a full tax invoice (amounts over R5,000) for it to be considered valid:

  • The words “Tax Invoice”, “VAT Invoice” or “Invoice”
  • Name, address and VAT registration number for your business
  • Name, address and where the recipient is a vendor, the recipient’s VAT registration number
  • Serial number and date of issue of invoice
  • Accurate description of goods and /or services (indicating where applicable that the goods are second hand goods)
  • Quantity or volume of goods or services supplied
  • Value of the supply, the amount of tax charged and the consideration of the supply (value and the tax) 

The following information needs to be included on an abridged tax invoice (amounts between R50 and R5,000) for it to be considered valid: 

  • The words “Tax Invoice”, “VAT Invoice” or “Invoice”
  • Name, address and VAT registration number for your business
  • Serial number and date of issue of invoice
  • Accurate description of goods and /or services
  • Value of the supply, the amount of tax charged and the consideration of the supply (value and the tax)

SARS tax invoice requirements checklist

Here is the checklist:

Criteria That The Invoice Should Meet

Y/N

Contains the words “Tax Invoice”, “VAT Invoice” or “Invoice”

Name, address and VAT registration number of the supplier 

Name, address and where the recipient is a vendor, the recipient’s VAT registration

number

Serial number and date of issue of invoice

Accurate description of goods and /or services (indicating where applicable that the

goods are second hand goods)

Quantity or volume of goods or services supplied

Value of the supply, the amount of tax charged and the consideration of the supply

(value and the tax)

ABRIDGED TAX INVOICE

(where the supply (including VAT) is greater than R50 and less than R5000)

Invoice Criteria

Y/N

Contains the words “Tax Invoice”, “VAT Invoice” or “Invoice”

Name, address and VAT registration number of the supplier

Serial number and date of issue of invoice

Accurate description of goods and /or services

Value of the supply, the amount of tax charged and the consideration of the supply

(value and the tax)

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Do I need to collect VAT on my invoices?

You must register for VAT and collect it on your invoices if your annual turnover exceeds or is likely to exceed R1 million. 

You can also choose to register for VAT voluntarily if your turnover in the past 12-month period has exceeded R50,000. However, if your business is registered for turnover tax you don’t need to charge VAT on your invoices.

Can invoice software help with tax compliant invoices?

Invoice software is one of the best ways to ensure your invoices are tax compliant every time. QuickBooks, for example, allows you to create custom branded invoices with all the fields required for a SARS compliant invoice.

It also speeds up and automates a lot of the processes around billing:

  • Save tax compliant invoice templates. Create, save and retrieve your invoice templates in just a few clicks.
  • Schedule recurring invoices. Easily schedule recurring invoices to be generated and sent to your clients automatically by email – no admin on your part.
  • Convert quotes to invoices. If you’ve provided a quote to a client, QuickBooks can convert it to an invoice for you and deliver it to the client by email.
  • Automatic invoice reminders. Set up automated reminders to be sent by email when a client’s due date is approaching.
  • Generate invoices from anywhere. Create and send invoices from any device, in any location, using QuickBooks Online Mobile app.
  • Track payments in real time. See who’s paid and who hasn’t at any time, from anywhere.

If you’re interested in seeing how QuickBooks streamlines and simplifies the invoicing process, try it free for 30 days (no credit card required).

View SARS Tax Brackets & Tax Tables for 2023-2024

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