VAT ON IMPORTED ESSENTIAL GOODS (should I charge VAT on essential goods?)

Please note that the South African Revenue Services has clarified that VAT treatment of the local supply of goods by an importer or any other vendor is unaffected by the import VAT exemption. The normal provisions of the Value-Added Tax Act, 1991, apply.

This means that locally, a vendor will still be charging VAT when selling the essential goods.

Source: SARS website



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