How to Claim Back VAT on Property Purchase in South Africa

How to Claim Back VAT on Property Purchase in South Africa, When it comes to purchasing property in South Africa, understanding the intricacies of value-added tax (VAT) is crucial. If you are a VAT vendor, you may be eligible to claim back VAT on your property purchase, which can result in significant savings. In this article, we will guide you through the process of claiming back VAT on property purchases, ensuring that you can navigate this aspect of property transactions with confidence.

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Understanding VAT on Property Purchases:

Value-added tax (VAT) is a tax levied on the supply of goods and services in South Africa. The standard VAT rate is currently 15%. When it comes to property transactions, VAT is applicable when the seller is a VAT vendor. It means that VAT is charged on the purchase price of the property. However, the buyer who is also a VAT vendor can claim back the VAT paid on the property purchase, subject to certain conditions and procedures.

Conditions for Claiming VAT on Property Purchases To claim back VAT on a property purchase in South Africa, you need to meet specific conditions:

  1. Be a registered VAT vendor: You must be registered as a VAT vendor with the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
  2. Intend to use the property for VATable activities: The property should be acquired for business purposes, and you should have the intention to use it for VATable activities, such as generating rental income or conducting business operations.
  3. Submit the correct VAT documentation: Proper VAT documentation, including invoices, tax invoices, and proof of payment, should be obtained from the seller and submitted to SARS when claiming the VAT refund.

Process for Claiming VAT on Property Purchases Once you have fulfilled the conditions mentioned above, you can proceed with the following steps to claim back VAT on your property purchase:

  1. Retain all relevant documents: Keep a record of all relevant documents, including the offer to purchase, VAT invoices, proof of payment, and any correspondence related to the property transaction.
  2. Submit your VAT return: Include the VAT incurred on the property purchase in your VAT return for the relevant tax period. Ensure that you accurately complete all the required fields and calculations in the VAT return form.
  3. Gather supporting documentation: Attach the necessary supporting documents, such as the tax invoices and proof of payment, to substantiate your claim.
  4. Submit the VAT return to SARS: Submit your VAT return, along with the supporting documentation, to the SARS via the designated online portal or through a SARS branch office.
  5. Await processing and refund: SARS will process your VAT return and verify the supporting documentation. If everything is in order, they will issue a refund for the claimed VAT amount.

Here are a few essential considerations to keep in mind regarding claiming VAT on property purchases:

  1. Timeframe: It is important to submit your VAT return within the designated timeframe specified by SARS. Failure to do so may result in penalties or delays in receiving your refund.
  2. Expert advice: If you are unsure about the VAT refund process or have complex property transactions, it is advisable to consult with a tax professional or seek advice from SARS directly.
  3. Keep updated with regulations: Stay informed about any changes or updates to VAT regulations by regularly visiting the SARS website or consulting reputable tax resources.


In conclusion, claiming back VAT on property purchases in South Africa can be a beneficial endeavor for VAT-registered buyers. By understanding the conditions and following the correct procedures, you can maximize your chances of receiving a refund for the VAT paid on your property purchase.

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