This article walks you through a process of checking your vat number against the official number.
When you do business with a wholesale supplier and they give you a vat number, these are numbers registered with a government agency. If your vat number starts with 07 or 09, this may mean that the person who put it on file did not enter it correctly. If this is the case, contact them to remedy their mistakes and/or check out their website for more information on how to register your own unique numbers.
The VAT number is a unique number that identifies you as a business. It’s also known as the Value Added Tax Number. You must have one if you are an entrepreneur or trader who provides services and goods in South Africa, even if you are just doing business in your home country. It is important that you register for your VAT number because it gives credibility to your business and protects you against criminals who may want to take advantage of your business by selling counterfeit goods under your name. You also need to register for a VAT number so that the revenue service knows how much they should charge you for vat when buying other goods and services.
The first two digits of a VAT number are used to identify the vat district you are located in. For example, a VAT number starting with 09 would mean that the person who gave it to you is located in Gauteng Province.
The VAT Districts:
07 – Western Cape Province;
08 – Northern Cape Province;
09 – Gauteng Province (including Johannesburg);
9A – North West Province; &
10 – Free State Province.
11 – KwaZulu Natal (including Durban);
12 – Eastern Cape Province; &
13 – Mpumalanga Region (including Pretoria).
To know more about VAT Number, please go to this website: https://www.sars.gov.za/tax-professionals/services-to-tax-professionals/tax-tools/exporters/vat-numbers
To know more about VAT, please go to this website: https://www.sars.gov.za/tax-professionals/services-to-tax-professionals/tax-tools/exporters/vat
How to check your vat number:
First, make sure that you have the right VAT number. If you are looking for a specific one, start by asking the person who sold you your goods or services to verify that it starts with 07 or 09.
To check how many digits are in your VAT number, log onto Sars’ website and click “VAT” in the navigation bar at the top of the webpage. Then click “Terms and Conditions”. Click ‘Check your VAT Number’ on the page. Enter the information on the page and then click ‘check’.
You will be given the following information:
Vat Title (): check the 6-digit vat number;
Vat Number: check and see if your number is a valid VAT number. It must contain at least 10 letters, numbers and/or symbols. All of these must be different and there cannot be duplicates in the 10 digits of your VAT number (for example, 071023 cannot be registered as 071223);
Enter the vat title into our search engine to find out more about vats in this region. The first 2-3 letters may help you identify your region. If you have any further questions, please email us using the contact form at the bottom of this page.
The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has staff available to answer your VAT-related questions.