Do you know how long you must keep your tax invoices?

43984, 17 Oct. 2014

Tags: tax invoice, sars, vat act

You know that a tax invoice is a special document required by the Vat Act and that you need it to claim input tax.
But do you know how long you must keep this special document?
Should you just throw it away after submitting your Vat return? Or should you keep it?
Read on to find out the answer so you can comply with the Vat Act.
Here’s how long you must keep your tax invoices
You must keep all the valid tax invoices you receive as part of your Vat record-keeping system for up to five years after the date of submitting your Vat return.
Sound complicated?
Let’s say, you received an invoice dated 2 October 2014. You claim the Vat back in your November 2014 return and submit it on 16 December 2014. You must keep the invoice until 15 December 2019.
Now that you know how long to keep your tax invoices, keep these four important points in mind
  • Your tax invoice will only be valid if it contains the relevant details. This includes the words “Tax Invoice”, the name, address and Vat number of the supplier, etc.
  • When you store your documents (including your tax invoice) in electronic format, you must keep the originals for one year.
  • In case of a SARS audit, you may have to keep all your documents for longer until the investigation, audit or appeal has been concluded and SARS has lodged its final assessment.
  • If you received both an original invoice and a copy, keep just the original. If you received a copy invoice copy because the original was misplaced or lost, you have to keep it.
Knowing how long to keep your tax invoices will help you comply with the Vat Act and avoid penalties.

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