21 August 2018

How to claim back VAT at South Africa's three major airports!

Foreign visitors to South Africa are able to claim back VAT (value added tax) paid on items which they take out of the country when the total valued exceeds ZAR250. To claim the VAT refund at South Africa's three major airports (OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport (CPT) in Cape Town and King Shaka International Airport (DUR) in Durban), travellers have to follow three easy steps:

1. When buying goods in South Africa, request a tax invoice for the items purchased. A tax invoice must contain the following information:
  • the words "tax invoice"
  • the seller's VAT registration number
  • a unique serialised tax invoice number
  • the buyer's name and address
  • the seller's name and adress
  • the date of issue of the tax invoice
  • the amount of VAT charged, or a statement that 15% VAT is included in the total cost of the goods 
  • the quantity and full description of the goods purchased
Only original tax invoices will be considered for a refund!

2. On your departure from South Africa, you must present the actual goods and tax invoices for inspection to a VAT Refund official or a South African customs official in the departure hall before checking in for your flight. In case your purchases do not fit into your hand luggage, you must present the goods and the tax invoices at a VAT Refund or a South African customs inspection desk prior to check-in. The VAT Refund official or South African customs official will stamp all tax invoices that quality for a VAT refund.

3. Present your claim at the VAT Refund Office. You will need your passport, boarding pass and your tax invoices (they need to be stamped by a VAT Refund official or South African customs official!). Your VAT refund claim will be processed and you will be issued with a VAT REFUND CARD which, once loaded with your VAT refund, may be used to make purchases or withdraw cash from any ATM wherever the MasterCard® Acceptance Mark is displayed (excluding the common monetary area being South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Eswatini/Swaziland). For more info regarding the VAT REFUND CARD click here

  • Tax Refund at OR Tambo International Airport: Terminal A Duty Free mall
  • Tax Refund at Cape Town International Airport: Central Terminal Building before security 
  • Tax Refund at King Shaka International Airport: International Departures Terminal
For more information about the VAT Refund in South Africa please visit www.taxrefunds.co.za.!

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