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.
Tender for heritage study: De Rust, Dysselsdorp & Oudtshoorn 2019-03-25 12:00 TD-01/02/19
Provision and administration of an electricity and water prepayment vending system for a contract period ending 30 June 2022 2019-03-25 11:00 TD-05/02/19
Supply, delivery, assembly and installation of various items of furniture and accessories for Thusong Centre in Motherwell. 2019-02-28 11:00 SCM/19-97/G
Expression of interest for the supply and delivery of PPE. 2019-03-14 11:00 SCM/19-139/G
Document: Archiving: Learners and Drivers licences. 2019-03-14 11:00 SCM/19-114/S
Standards of Generally Recognised Acccounting Practices (GRAP) financial reporting training service provider for a two year period 2019-02-28 12:00 SAICA0032019
Provision of Security Services at Various ECDC Owned Premises for thirty Six months (3 years) 2019-03-11 12:00 ECDC/ELN/108/012019
Supply and delivery of Road Construction Material for Taweni Access road 2019-03-11 12:00 IHLM/87/01/2018-19/TS
The appointment of a service provider for Finance, Human Resources and Administration services for a period of 12 months. 2019-02-28 14:00 AIP-01/2019
Upgrading of Server Infrastructure and Development of Unified communication 2019-03-20 12:00 019/2018/19
The appointment of a contractor to design, upgrade, install and commission the control system at the aquarium of the National Zoological Garden in Pretoria. 2019-03-04 11:00 SANBI NZG: 325/ 2019
The appointment of a contractor for remedial work to various existing structures including roofs, aquatic mammal pools, and aquarium tanks at the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria. 2019-03-04 11:00 SANBI NZG: 327/ 2019
The appointment of a contractor for the design and upgrade of existing gravel roads at the Mokopane Biodiversity Centre in Mokopane, Limpopo. 2019-03-05 11:00 SANBI NZG: 330/ 2019
Appointment of service provider for the procurement new fleet 4x4 double cabs(03) and (06) x sedans for the South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator 2019-03-15 11:00 SADPMR03/ 2018/ 19
Request to procure service providers for the purposes of headhunting for executive and senior management positions for a period of three (03) years 2019-03-08 11:00 RFA 1892/ 2018
Appointment of a suitable service provider to conduct situational analysis of successful skills programmes offered by SETA Quality Assurance Partners (QAPS) 2019-03-08 11:00 PUR 6000/ 8
The appointment of a service provider to provide medical surveillance program for 1225 (one thousand two hundred and twenty five) consisting of 72 landfill employees and 1153 general workers over four (4) months. 2019-03-18 11:00 PU058/ 2018
The appointment of panel of service providers for the removal, cleaning and rehabilitation and/or eradication of illegally dumped non-toxic, non-objectionable solid waste and rubble on as and when required basis for thirty six (36) months period. 2019-03-15 11:00 PU047/ 2017
Appointment of service providers for insurance and administration of the subsidized motor transport scheme and the VIP vehicle fleet of the state for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2024 2019-03-08 11:00 RT58- 2019
Invitation to provide catering and canteen services at national health laboratory service head office and Braamfontein office for the period of three (3) years. 2019-03-08 11:00 RFB 156/ 18/ 19

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Tender Knowledge

By Werner van Rooyen

www.howtotender.co.za

31 January 2019

Sometimes I am surprised at how little business people in South Africa know about Tenders and the Tender Process. Simple things like terminology and general tender information are difficult for people to comprehend not to mention the Standard Bidding Documents and Tender Pricing.

Unbelievably there are still Entrepreneurs that thinks to respond to tenders are an actual business? You will find that these Entrepreneurs would... Read More

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