How to do your VAT registration
You are obligated to register as a VAT vendor if your taxable supplies (annual turnover including income from delivery services supplied to customers) is in excess R1 million in any twelve-month period.
You may also register for VAT voluntarily if your turnover (income from non-exempt services) supplied to Uber or other persons such as marketing and availability services, exceeded R50 000 in a twelve-month period.
If you are new to VAT, this page walks you through the basics of your registration process.
VAT registration can be done on the SARS efiling system. Or you can visit a SARS office closest to you for a VAT registration if you are obliged to so in terms of South Africa tax legislation.
Consult a tax advisor for more details on criteria and requirements that apply to you.
What a VAT registration entails
VAT collected by you from providing services
As a registered VAT vendor, you must charge and collect VAT on non-exempt services (such as marketing and availability services) supplied to Uber or any other persons.
VAT charged to you on business expenses
VAT can also be charged to you by Uber and other parties. For example, on business expenses such as motorcycle repairs, Uber’s service fee, oil spare parts etc. You may be able to deduct this from the VAT you have collected.
More details can be found on the VAT 404 : Guide to Vendors on the SARS website, Page 51-52.
Criteria and Requirements
How to get started
It is mandatory to register for VAT If the taxable supplies from non-exempt services supplied to Uber and other parties, such as marketing and availability services, exceeds or is likely to exceed R1 million (2020) in any consecutive 12 month period.
You may qualify for voluntary VAT registration if your income (turnover) from such services exceeded R50,000 (2020) in the past period of 12 months.
More information can be found on the SARS’ website: VAT 404 – Guide for Vendors.
We strongly recommend that you speak with a tax professional to ensure you fully understand your VAT obligations.
How to do your registration
For All Business Regimes as well as Small Business Regimes
It is mandatory for a business to register for VAT if the total value of taxable supplies made in any consecutive twelve-month period exceeds or is likely to exceed R1 million.
A person can register for VAT on efiling or the person can complete the VAT 101 – Application for Registration form and submit the form at the local SARS branch.
The following documents must be submitted with the VAT registration application :
- Copy of ID document for individual
- Copy of Certificate of Incorporation – If the business is a registered company
- Original bank statements (going back three months)
- Original letter from your banker / Original stamped statement from the bank
- Latest month invoices as proof of trading
- A recent copy of the business municipal account/ Rental agreement as proof of business address (SARS also accept clothing store accounts provided that the street address is stated on the account)
A small business that is registered as a micro business may also register for VAT and may elect to submit returns and payments every four months, ending the last sat of June, October and February. A natural person or company may qualify as a micro business if the qualifying turnover for the year of assessment does not exceed R1 million.
If you registered via the SARS eFiling system, your profile will be activated within 48 hours. If it takes any longer, you are advised to contact SARS.
Otherwise, via manual registration, registration takes anywhere from 10 business days.
After successful registration you will receive a notice from SARS.
Before your VAT number is issued, you are free to continue business operations as you wait for it.
The VAT registration number It is a unique 10-digit number that starts with the number “4”.
When your application is successful, you are issued with this unique identifying number that you can search and check for on the SARS eFiling website.
Once issued, this unique identifying number is expected to be indicated on all your valid tax invoices. More details can be found on the requirements of a valid VAT invoice on the VAT 404 : Guide to Vendors on the SARS website, Page 124 Point 13.3.
VAT 201 returns must be submitted to SARS on a two-monthly basis.
Your Uber Profile
Uber Profile - VAT If applicable, be sure to provide us with a valid VAT-number (by adding it to your Tax Profile / Invoice Settings page) and to update your tax profile in the Uber App.
A “Notice of Registration” can be obtained from efiling or a SARS branch.
- Where do I register for VAT?
At the nearest branch of the SARS or by using SARS eFiling.
- How do I calculate my income?
Your turnover is the sum of the services you sold. On the Uber app this is the sales made to the Restaurants. However, please be aware that for tax purposes you likely need to include the turnover from any other activities you perform outside of the Uber platform too.
- How are tips taxed and where can I find the amounts I have received as tips?
According to South African Income Tax legislation, tips are considered income and should be included in your personal income tax return and taxed accordingly.
Tips are regarded as income earned as part of your employment and should be included in your taxable income.
- I receive other payments from Uber (e.g. incentives, referrals of new delivery partners). What should I do as regards VAT for these?
Typically, these payments are considered as services provided by you to Uber. These services are normally subject to VAT in South Africa.
Section 7(1) of the VAT Act provides that VAT shall be levied and paid at 15% on
- The value of
- A supply
- Of goods and services
- In the Republic (of South Africa)
- By a vendor
- In the course or furtherance
- Of an enterprise
Any income received from Uber will be taxable and will be subject to VAT as the income is regarded to be received in the furtherance of your business.
- How do I ensure my compliance?
If you are required to register for VAT make sure you do so as soon as possible. Also make sure you submit VAT returns when you are required to do so together with any payments of VAT due to SARS.
- How do I submit my VAT return?
VAT201 returns should be submitted on the SARS eFiling system. In exceptional circumstances VAT201 returns can be submitted at the SARS office closest to you.
- Is there VAT on the service fee I pay to Uber?
Yes. Uber is registered as a VAT vendor with SARS from May 2019 and charges VAT at 15% on its service fee and booking fee. Uber will remit the VAT to SARS as part of our commitment to comply with local tax laws.
The Uber delivery partner that is registered for VAT and supplied Uber with your VAT registration number, can claim the VAT paid for the service fee as an expense (Input VAT) on the VAT201 return.
Every Partner is unique and so are their specific tax circumstances. As such, the information on this page may not cover your tax needs and it should not be relied upon to replace you seeking independent tax advice. Uber cannot provide you with tax advice for your individual situation, and therefore we strongly recommend speaking with a professional tax advisor to get tailored help and advice for your specific circumstances. The information on this page is for South African audiences only.