Can You Claim VAT on Commission Paid?

Understanding the intricacies of Value Added Tax (VAT) regulations is essential for businesses in South Africa. One common question that arises is whether VAT can be claimed on commission paid. In this blog post, we will delve into this topic and provide a clear answer to the question at hand

Understanding Commission Payments

Commission payments are a common practice in various industries, especially those involving sales and marketing. When a business pays a commission to an agent or salesperson for securing a sale or generating leads, it is compensating them for their efforts.

VAT on Commission Paid

In South Africa, VAT regulations govern the treatment of commission payments. Generally, businesses can claim VAT on expenses incurred for the purpose of making taxable supplies. However, when it comes to commission paid, the eligibility to claim VAT depends on certain conditions.

Claiming VAT on Commission Paid

To determine whether VAT can be claimed on commission paid, the following conditions must be met:

  • Commission Expense Incurred: The commission paid must be a legitimate business expense incurred in the course of making taxable supplies.
  • VAT Invoice: The commission payment should be supported by a valid VAT invoice from the commission agent or service provider.
  • VAT Registration: Both the payer (business) and the recipient (commission agent) must be VAT registered.
  • Taxable Supply: The commission payment must be directly related to a taxable supply made by the business.

Exceptions to Claiming VAT on Commission Paid

There are a few exceptions to claiming VAT on commission payments. These include:

  • Exempt Supplies: If the supply made by the business is exempt from VAT, the VAT on commission paid cannot be claimed.
  • Non-Taxable Supplies: Commission paid for supplies that fall outside the scope of VAT cannot be used for VAT claims.
  • Input Tax Limitations: If the commission payment is subject to input tax limitations, it may not be fully claimable for VAT purposes.

Consult with a Tax Professional

Navigating the complexities of VAT regulations can be challenging. It is always recommended to consult with a tax professional or seek advice from SARS to ensure compliance with the latest regulations and specific circumstances.


In conclusion, the ability to claim VAT on commission paid in South Africa depends on various factors such as VAT registration, the nature of the supply, and the validity of the invoice. By adhering to the conditions mentioned earlier and staying updated with VAT regulations, businesses can make informed decisions regarding VAT claims on commission payments. Remember, seeking expert advice is crucial for accurate and compliant VAT management.

We hope this blog post has provided a clear answer to your question. If you have any further queries or require more detailed information, don’t hesitate to contact us or consult a tax professional or reach out to the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

Note: While this blog post is intended to provide general information, it is always advisable to consult with a qualified professional regarding specific VAT queries and individual business circumstances.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *