web analytics

How To Calculate Vat In South Africa?

Last updated on: 27/06/2024

Quick Summary

This blog post provides a comprehensive guide on how to calculate VAT in South Africa. It covers both manual calculations and online VAT calculators, along with explanations of VAT inclusive and exclusive amounts. The post also highlights the importance of proper VAT calculation for compliance and transparency, and includes answers to frequently asked questions about VAT in South Africa.


Value Added Tax (VAT) is a consumption tax that is applied to goods and services at various stages of production or distribution. In South Africa, VAT plays an important role in generating revenue for the government and ensuring fair taxation across different sectors.

Understanding how to calculate VAT correctly is crucial for individuals, businesses, and organizations operating within South Africa’s jurisdiction. This blog post aims to provide you with comprehensive information on calculating VAT in South Africa accurately.

Whether you prefer using online calculators or manually performing calculations yourself, we will cover all the necessary steps involved in determining both the inclusive amount (including VAT) and exclusive amount (excluding VAT). Additionally, we’ll explore some reliable online resources where you can find helpful tools specifically designed for this purpose.

By mastering these calculation methods and staying up-to-date with current regulations regarding value-added tax rates in South Africa – currently set at 15% – you can ensure compliance with tax laws while maintaining transparency throughout your financial transactions.

Value Added Tax (VAT) in South Africa

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a consumption tax that is applied to goods and services at various stages of production or distribution. It is an indirect tax, meaning it is not directly paid by the consumer but rather collected by businesses on behalf of the government.

In South Africa, VAT plays a crucial role in generating revenue for the country’s economy. The current VAT rate set by the South African Revenue Service (SARS) stands at 15%. This means that when you purchase goods or services in South Africa, you are required to pay an additional 15% on top of their original price as VAT.

The purpose behind implementing VAT is twofold: firstly, it serves as a source of income for governments to fund public expenditure such as infrastructure development and social welfare programs. Secondly, it helps promote fairness within taxation systems since individuals with higher purchasing power tend to consume more taxable items than those with lower incomes.

It’s important to note that certain essential items may be exempt from paying VAT or subject to reduced rates depending on specific regulations outlined by SARS. These exemptions aim at ensuring affordability and accessibility for basic necessities like foodstuffs and healthcare-related products/services.

Understanding how VAT works can help both consumers and business owners navigate financial transactions effectively while remaining compliant with tax laws. Whether you’re calculating your own expenses inclusive/exclusive of taxes or running a business requiring accurate invoicing procedures – having knowledge about proper calculation methods will prove beneficial.

VAT Calculation in South Africa

VAT Inclusive Amount Calculation

To calculate the VAT inclusive amount, which is the total amount including VAT, you need to multiply the pre-VAT Rand value by 0.15 (the decimal representation of 15% – the current standard rate set by SARS). This will give you the Rand value of the VAT portion that should be added to your original amount.

For example:

If your pre-VAT Rand value is R100,

VAT = R100 * 0.15

VAT = R15

The final price with included VAT would then be:

Total Price = Pre-Vat Value + Vat

Total Price = R100 + R15

Total Price = R115

Please note that when calculating a vat-included price, it’s important to remember that this figure will always be higher than an equivalent vat-excluded or net price.

VAT Exclusive Amount Calculation

To calculate for a specific item’s cost excluding tax/V.A.T., divide its selling/retail/excluding-tax-price by one plus fifteen percent (.85).


Net Cost = Selling / Retail Excluding Tax-Price ÷ [1+Tax Rate]


Let us say we have an item priced at ZAR500 and want to find out how much was paid as V.A.T.

ZAR500 ÷ [.85] ≈ ZAR588.24

So if our retailing pricing strategy requires us not only cover costs but also make some profit on top thereof – let’s assume twenty-five percent gross margin/mark-up/profit-margin/margin-on-costs; i.e.:

Gross Margin/M.U./Profit-Margin/M.O.C. = Gross Profit/Cost-of-Goods-Sold × One-Hundred Percent [=25]

Cost-of-Goods Sold = C.G.S. = Retail Including-Tax/Selling-Inc.-Tax-Price ÷ [1+V.A.T. Rate]

C.G.S. = ZAR588.24 ÷ [1+.15] ≈ ZAR510

Therefore, the cost of goods sold is ZAR 510.

Please note that when calculating a vat-excluded price, it’s important to remember that this figure will always be lower than an equivalent vat-inclusive or gross price.

Online VAT Calculators

Calculating VAT manually can be time-consuming and prone to errors. Fortunately, there are several online tools available that make the process quick and easy. Here are three popular websites where you can find reliable South African VAT calculators:

URL1: CalculateVAT.co.za

URL: https://calculatevat.co.za/

CalculateVAT.co.za offers a user-friendly online calculator specifically designed for calculating Value Added Tax in South Africa. This tool allows you to add or remove VAT from any Rand amount with just a few clicks.

To calculate the inclusive amount (including VAT), simply enter the pre-VAT value into the designated field on their website, click “Add 15%,” and voila! The result will show both the original amount entered as well as its corresponding inclusive value.

Conversely, if you want to determine an exclusive price (excluding VAT), input your desired post-VAT total into another section of their calculator labeled “Remove 15%.” Once again, CalculateVat.co.za provides instant results showing both amounts – one including tax and one without it.

This handy tool is perfect for individuals who need accurate calculations quickly without having to perform manual computations themselves.

URL2 – SouthAfricanVATCalculator.co.za

URL: https://southafricanvatcalculator.com/

SouthAfricanVatCalculator.com is another excellent resource when it comes to calculating Value Added Tax in South Africa. Their comprehensive website not only includes an efficient online calculator but also provides valuable information about how this consumption tax works within various stages of production or distribution.

The site explains step-by-step instructions on using their calculator effectively:

  • Enter either your gross price (inclusive of vat) or net price (exclusive of vat).
  • Select whether you wish to include or exclude V.A.T.
  • Inputting these details accurately ensures precise calculation results every time!

With clear explanations and a user-friendly interface, SouthAfricanVatCalculator.co.za is an ideal tool for individuals seeking to understand the VAT calculation process while obtaining accurate results.

URL3 – VATCalculator.co.za

URL: https://www.vatcalculator.co.za/

If you’re looking for a straightforward calculator that focuses solely on excluding or removing 15% V.A.T., then look no further than VATCalculator.co.za. This website offers users the ability to enter any amount in South African Rand (R) and instantly calculates both the V.A.T. portion (which amounts to 15% of your entered value) as well as providing you with its corresponding exclusive total.

The site also includes additional features such as clearing your inputted values if needed, ensuring ease-of-use when performing multiple calculations consecutively.

Please note that these online calculators are designed specifically for calculating Value Added Tax within South Africa’s tax regulations. They provide convenient solutions by eliminating manual errors and saving time during financial transactions involving this consumption tax.

Manual VAT Calculation

Determining the VAT Rate

The first step in manually calculating VAT is to determine the applicable rate. In South Africa, the current standard rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) is 15%. This means that for most goods and services, a 15% tax will be added.

Calculating the Net Price

To calculate the net price, which is the amount before adding VAT, you need to divide your gross price by 1 plus the VAT percentage. For example:

Net Price = Gross Price / (1 + Vat Percentage)

Let’s say you have an item with a gross price of R1000 and want to find out how much it costs without including any taxes:

Net Price = R1000 / (1 + 0.15)

= R869.57

So in this case, after excluding VAT from R1000 at a rate of 15%, we get a net price of approximately R869.57.

Calculating The Vat Amount

Once you have determined your net price or base value on which vat needs to be calculated; To calculate just vat portion multiply it by vat percentage.

For Example:

VAT Amount= Base Value * Vat Percentage

If our base value was still r800 then;

vatAmount=r800* .015



Thus,VAT amount would equal r12 when applying south african’s standard vate rates(ie.,r800*.015).

Calculating The Gross Price

Gross price can also be found using below formulae;


Using above examples,



It is important to remember that these manual calculations are based on the current VAT rate of 15% in South Africa and may vary if the rate changes.

Importance of Proper VAT Calculation

Compliance with Tax Regulations

Properly calculating and accounting for Value Added Tax (VAT) is crucial to ensure compliance with tax regulations in South Africa. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) requires businesses to accurately calculate, collect, and remit VAT on taxable goods or services provided.

By adhering to the correct procedures for VAT calculation, businesses can avoid penalties, fines, or legal issues that may arise from non-compliance. It is essential to stay updated on any changes in legislation regarding VAT rates or exemptions as failure to do so could result in incorrect calculations.

Maintaining accurate records of all transactions involving VAT will also facilitate smooth audits by SARS if required. By ensuring proper documentation and adherence to tax regulations related specifically to VAT calculations, businesses demonstrate their commitment towards responsible financial management.

Transparency in Financial Transactions

Accurate calculation of Value Added Tax promotes transparency within financial transactions both internally within a business organization and externally between suppliers and customers. Transparent communication about how much value-added tax has been included allows consumers or clients an understanding of what portion goes toward taxes when purchasing products or services.

For companies engaged in international trade where invoices are issued across borders; transparent disclosure ensures clarity among parties involved while avoiding potential disputes over taxation matters during cross-border transactions.

Additionally, transparent reporting helps build trust between buyers and sellers as it provides clear visibility into the breakdown of costs associated with each transaction.

In conclusion, properly calculating VAT not only guarantees compliance but also fosters transparency which ultimately contributes positively towards building strong relationships based on trust amongst stakeholders including government authorities, businesses, and end-users alike.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the current VAT rate in South Africa?

The current Value Added Tax (VAT) rate in South Africa is 15%. This means that for most goods and services, an additional 15% of the selling price will be added as VAT. It’s important to note that certain items may have different rates or exemptions applied.

How do I calculate VAT on a specific amount?

To calculate the VAT on a specific amount, you can use one of two methods – calculating the inclusive amount or calculating the exclusive amount.

For calculating the inclusive amount:

  1. Multiply your pre-VAT Rand value by 0.15 (which represents 15%).
  2. The result will give you the Rand value of just the VAT portion.
  3. Add this calculated VAT portion to your original pre-VAT Rand value to get the total including VAT.


  1. https://calculatevat.co.za/
  2. https://southafricanvatcalculator.co.za/
  3. https://www.vatcalculator.co.za/exclude_vat.php

Latest Questions Answered