Issue Date: 
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Tenders and VAT

By Werner van Rooyen

31 January 2019

One question that gets raised during each HowtoTender Workshop is must my business (or I) be registered for Value Added Tax (VAT) in order for me to respond to a tender? Or, must I register my business for VAT?

The answer according to the VAT Act, 1991 (Act No. 89 of 1991) is simple:

  • If your turnover is more than R1 million per annum then you have to register your business (or yourself in the case of a sole proprietor) for VAT.
  • There are commodities that are exempt from VAT and if you supply these commodities you do not have to register for VAT. I am not going to go into these technical issues for now.

There is such a thing as voluntary registration. You can register your business voluntary for VAT if your turnover was more than R50 000 for the previous twelve months preceding your registration application.

It is about voluntary VAT registration that I want to talk about. One thing that is a fact in South Africa is that businesses are legislated to death. There are so many laws and Regulations that have to be complied with that entrepreneurs struggle to focus on the most important thing in their business and that is sales. My advice is to stay un-registered for as long as possible – especially if you are a start-up business or a small business. I ask the business owners why they want to give themselves more paper work to do if it is not compulsory to register for VAT.

In my opinion the problem lies within big business. They “force” the small businesses to register for VAT otherwise they do not want to do business with the small business. It starts with big business’ procurement procedures from which they do not want to deviate – you as small business owner must supply them with a TAX INVOICE otherwise they cannot do business with you. This is nonsense; big business must compromise to assist the small business to grow.

Then there is the matter of pricing. Theoretically there should be no difference in price between a VAT registered and a Non-VAT registered supplier. If they procure form the same wholesaler and their mark-up is the same then the price should be the same. The only difference being the VAT that the registered supplier has to add to its price.

Although there are ample places in the Standard Bidding Documents that ask for your business’ VAT registration number it is not a pre-requisite to be registered for VAT in order to respond to a Tender or a Request for Proposal or any other name it might be called. You might be confronted with a Tender Official that says you have to be registered for VAT, if so, just remind that Tender Official of the VAT Act.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to VAT when you respond to a tender is when it comes to pricing – 99.99% of the time your price must include VAT.

To learn more about this and many other tender conditions attend our “Become a Tender Expert” 2-Day workshops presented in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. Book and pay online at www.howtotender.co.za. Please contact Estelle at Estelle@howtotender.co.za should you require more information.

This article was written by Werner van Rooyen, Director of HowToTender (Pty) Ltd which specializes in tender consulting and tender training.

Title Closing Date Tender No.
Occupational health and safety services for resurfacing of municipal roads (Rawsonville, Worcester, De Doorns, Touwsrivier). 2019-04-30 11:00 296861
Terms of Reference for Consultancy Services to Undertake Gender Mainstreaming Study in the Energy Sector in Africa 2019-05-07 15:00 AUC/IED/C/014
Construction of Speed-Humps 2019-05-03 12:00 SCM/2019/114/ENG
For the supply and delivery of safety boots for delivery to Kimberley, Supply Chain Services Warehouse. 2019-04-30 10:00 WRAC/KBC/29581
Supply and delivery of various PPE material on an “as and when” required basis to Bellville 2019-05-14 10:00 BLE RME 2202/2019
SHEQ Dept - Collection and Disposal of Medical Waste on a month-to-month basis not exceeding 12 months 2019-05-07 12:00 PEHR 007/19-20
Construction of Ward 4 Elityeni Internals Streets 2019-05-17 11:00 TECH/MIG 01/2019/20
Construction of Chintsa East Internal Streets 2019-05-17 11:00 TECH/MIG 02/2019/20
Construction of Icwili Sports Field 2019-05-17 11:00 TECH/MIG 03/2019/20
Construction of Ward 6 Youth Centre 2019-05-17 11:00 TECH/MIG 04/2019/20
Provision of Website Management services at KHTVETC for a period of 36 months ( 3 years) 2019-05-23 11:00 KHC Bid 01/2019
Provision of the Secondment of the Water Sector Manager 2019-04-25 11:00 EWSETA/RFQ/11/2019
Appointment of a service provider for the design and construction of houses with basic services infrastructure for evicted farm dwellers from Vaalpoort Farm in Pixley Ka Seme Local Municipality 2019-05-15 11:00 CONMP 0001 (2019/ 2020)
Procurement of Support and Maintenance of VMware Enterprise Licences, the reconfiguration of Enterprise Licenses at Head Office and the Procurement of 12 Additional Enterprise Licences wit x1 VMware vCentre standard including installation and configuration for 36 months 2019-05-10 11:00 RFB 1918- 2018
Request for proposals from reputable and suitably qualified research houses to submit proposals to conduct a Domestic and Departure Tourism Survey for the South African Tourism. 2019-05-10 12:00 SAT 148/ 19
Request for proposal for the appointment of a service provider to render employee wellness programme for the Office of the Public Service Commission (OPSC) for a period of thirty six (36) months. 2019-05-14 11:00 OPSC 001/ 19
The provision of professional catering services for the National School of Government for a period of three (3) years. 2019-05-10 11:00 NSG/ BID/ 12/ 2018/ 19
The comprehensive management and maintenance services of CCTV survailance, access control and intruder alarm systems at the national school of government for a period of 36 months (three years). 2019-05-10 11:00 NSG/ BID/ 13/ 2018/ 19
Supply and delivery of fine aggregate, coarse aggregate, crusher run and rip rap to the Department of Water and Sanitation, Clanwilliam Dam. 2019-06-06 11:00 DWS03- 0419 WTE
Appointment of a Consultant for the Development of 5- Year Business Plan (2019 - 2023) for Sci-Bono Discovery Centre (Sci-Bono) Operations. 2019-05-02 12:00 SCM/CEO/R19-20/11

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Ease of opening a business

By Werner van Rooyen

www.howtotender.co.za

31 January 2019

South Africa is currently rated 88nd when it comes to the ease of doing business according to survey that is done yearly by The World Bank. This is all good and well if you are an overseas investor with a lot of money and looking for new places to invest in. However, if you are a South African with little or no money, doing and / or starting a business in South Africa can be a daunting task!

To begin with, the statistics are... Read More

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