Many compliant taxpayers feel that they are mistreated on their Value-Added Tax (VAT) refunds, and for most of them, rightly so. This may be partly due to the perfect storm of a shrinking economy, administrative delays and perceived deliberate delays when SARS owes you money. These ever-increasing complaints and the many theories surrounding the delays has even led to the Tax Ombud issuing a rather damning report on the topic.
The most frequent target of excessive requests for verification is VAT refunds. The frustration arising from SARS’s verification process on VAT is well documented and not only aggravates the taxpayer but also endangers the livelihood of the enterprise they operate. The Ombud also noted this second point. In particular, we have found that, for refunds exceeding the R1.25 million amount, verification and similar mechanisms which result in delay are guaranteed.