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South African Rands

South Africa VAT Refunds: Why is SARS not paying my VAT refund?


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If you visited South Africa in May 2022 and applied for a VAT refund, you have already asked yourself why the refund has taken longer than expected, or why the South African Revenue Service (SARS) isn’t processing the refund.

SARS employees have had a series of strikes since May 2022 as part of wage negotiations. The strikes have created a backlog and tourists waiting to have their VAT refunded shouldn’t expect it soon.


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Prior to the strike, VAT Refunds took an average of eight weeks to process and issue refunds onto a Mastercard. Today, tourists have had to wait for over three months and are likely to wait longer before receiving VAT refunds.

The strike started in May, then was suspended in June, resumed in mid-July, and suspended again in August. If their demands are not met, they are definitely resuming the strike. Let’s hope that they get whatever wages they deserve so as to remain at work to process the VAT refunds as soon as possible before the MasterCards expire.


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Akesse Sanza | Jetsanza.com

Akesse Moise Sanza is a Travel & Tourism Consultant, Travel Blogger, Anti-Human Trafficking & Safe Migration Advocate and a Traveler.

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