Foreign visitors to South Africa may claim back the value added tax (VAT) paid on items which they take out of the country when the total value exceeds R250. The application for a refund must be lodged with the VAT Refund Administrator's offices. These offices are situated at Johannesburg, King Shaka and Cape Town International Airports, various land border posts and designated commercial harbours.
When purchasing goods, simply identify yourself as a foreign tourist to shop assistants, and request a tax invoice. A tax invoice must contain all the following information:
- the amount of VAT charged, or a statement that VAT is included in the total cost of the goods
- the quantity and full description of the goods purchased
- a unique serialised tax invoice number
- the buyer's name and address
- the amount of VAT charged, or a statement to the effect that VAT at the rate of 15% is included in the total cost of the goods.
You must declare the goods to a customs official at the designated commercial port of departure from South Africa. You must present the original documents as well as the items purchased.
The VAT Refund Administrator
PO Box 107
OR Tambo International Airport
Tel: + 27 11 979 0055