New invoicing requirements for digital service providers

This month, we are seeing many countries implementing fiscal obligations for digital service providers. In South Africa, alongside these new obligations, we can see a direct impact on the content required in invoices, too, alongside these new obligations.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has clarified the new requirements for tax invoices issued by digital service providers in a new Regulation issued on 10 December 2021. As a summary:

• The invoice must now contain the customer’s business, postal or residential address; an email address is no longer sufficient;
• A ‘full and proper’ description of the services supplied must be included;
• The value of the supply must now be shown on an invoice- not just the VAT amount, as previously was the case.

Such changes also serve a more practical purpose. South Africa taxes B2B supplies of digital services by foreign businesses. Implementing more stringent measures in respect of the invoice data content will make it significantly easier for buyers to reclaim VAT.

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