Invoicing requirements in South Africa (SA) vary slightly, depending on whether you are sending an invoice or a tax invoice. Apart from all other information in an invoice, a tax invoice also includes the tax paid.
The laws and regulations that guard invoices differ in every region, and for that reason, it is simply important for you to adapt to these laws and regulations as a safety measure before you conduct any transaction.
Invoicing in South Africa requires the P&G global invoicing guideline standards to be followed. Read on to learn more about invoice requirements in SA.
- Customer Information
- Supplier Information
- Credit Notes
- Foreign Currency Invoice
- Tax Invoice
- Creating a South African Invoice
- How to Extract Data from an Invoice
- Frequently Asked Questions
The full name of the customer as it appears in their business or company registration certificate. In the case of an individual, provide their name as it appears in their government-issued ID.
You have to include the customer’s address where you delivered the items or services. In the case of a business, this should be their official business address in SA.
Value Added Tax (VAT) Number
The customer’s VAT number should also be in the invoice. You need it when filing taxes in SA.
Include your full name, as it appears in your government-issued ID or your business name as it appears in your registration certificate. The name you provide has to match the one you gave your client to use in the Purchase Order (PO).
You need to include your official business address, as it appears in your tax documents. Moreover, this address should be similar to what is on the PO. SARS agents can view discrepancies as an attempt to commit tax fraud.
VAT Registration Number
As a supplier, you need to have a VAT Number to send an invoice. You use the VAT number to charge the customer VAT taxes, and then submit them to the SA Revenue Service (SARS).
Your VAT registration number is required to be made visible, in any case, the recipient is a vendor, their VAT registration number is to be included as well.
Your vendor number that SARS issued you in SA must also be included in the invoice.
Invoice Serial Number and Date
The invoice must have a unique serial number and the date that you issued the invoice.
Proof of Performance
The invoice should include proof of performance. That can be any document proving you offered the services, or you delivered the goods. This can be a signed receipt or delivery note.
When sending a credit note instead of an invoice, you should indicate the reason for sending it. The reasons can include quantity or price adjustment. Where applicable, the credit note should have the invoice number of the corresponding invoice.
Foreign Currency Invoice
You can send a foreign currency invoice, but only if the invoice is zero-rated. For standard-rated tax invoices, you should make a conversion to SA Rand, and include the converted figures in the Tax Invoice. A Foreign Currency Invoice stamp is required for invoicing in South Africa.
Generally, if the value of goods supplied annually exceeds 5,000 ZAR, then you need to submit a tax invoice. Your SA tax invoice should also include the following details:
- The words “Tax Invoice,” in bold, preferably in the header section.
- Your identity details and your business number are registered with SARS.
- Foreign Currency Invoice (FCI) stamp, if payment is in foreign currency.
- Tax invoice date, item/service description, item quantity, and price.
- The total value of the supply and the amount of tax charged.
- The 15% tax amount must be shown
- Name and address of the recipient
- Full description and volume of each the goods or services
- Include a serialized invoice number
- Invoices are required to be structured to reflect the total sum of goods or services, displayed as a subtotal, tax amount, and grand total.
Creating a South African Invoice
There are two types of tax invoices to consider, the Fill Tax Invoice Requirements and the Abridged Tax Invoice Requirements. The former applies to taxable supplies and services that are either equal to or greater than R5000, While the latter applies when the value of taxable supplies and services are less than R5000 but more than R50.
Tax Invoices are to be issued within 21 days of supply with or without solicitation.
Note that there’s a slight difference between an invoice and a Tax invoice. Basically, an invoice is a documented proof of a transaction conducted at a given period and specified amount to be paid, charges, payments, refunds, and dates are documented to reflect the given transaction.
Tax invoices albeit are legal documentation submitted to a customer which includes tax, required to reflect the VAT Act of 1991 — ‘Tax Invoice’, merchant identity, business number information, invoice date, item descriptions, quantity, price, and a foreign currency stamp be made visible in documentation.
Value Added Tax (VAT) is an indirect tax placed on goods and service consumption in the economy. It is specifically applied to products that go up in value, usually charged at the production and distribution process stages of the product, essentially allowing the consumer to pay only for the cost of the product minus other material costs already taxed before it reaches the consumer.
By South African law, a 15% inclusion on all required prices is mandatory for business owners. For any VAT incurred while conducting business, you are entitled to a claim back — ideally, most VAT returns require completion every two months.
How to Extract Data from an Invoice
The workflow starts by clicking on “Make a Zap” at the top-right corner of your Zapier dashboard.
Google Drive should be chosen from the list of apps, and the Trigger Event “New File in Folder” should be selected.
The important thing is to connect the Google account to Zapier.
When Google Drive and the target folder are selected on your account, just click [CONTINUE].
Click [TEST & CONTINUE]. Upload a new file to your target Google Drive when prompted and click [Test trigger]. After running a successful test, click [CONTINUE].
The app would be PDF.co, and the action event would be Document Parser. Then, just click [CONTINUE]
Link your PDF.co account (using Your API Key) and click [CONTINUE]
We are now ready to set up the Document Parser.
- In the Input field, enter the Invoice or source document URL.
- In the Template Id field, enter your created Template Id. You can find the Template Id on the PDF.co Document Parser page. We will leave the system-generated Template Id 1 as our template.
Once you are set, click [CONTINUE]
It’s time to send the Document Parser data to PDF.co to Test & Review.
PDF.co successfully processed our request and we now have the parsed version of the sample Invoice in JSON format.
Screenshot of Sample Invoice to Parse
Screenshot of Parsed Invoice in JSON Format
Lastly, you may also opt to name your zap before turning it on by clicking [Name your zap] at the upper left corner of the page.
Frequently Asked Questions – Invoice South Africa
What Should Be On An Invoice South Africa?
A South African invoice must have a unique invoice number, the name of your business, contact details, and address. It should also include the name and address of the client you are invoicing and the total payable amount.
A clear and precise description of the goods or services you supplied to your customers must also be included. Plus, you should also check that your invoice has the actual date the invoice was prepared and the date the services or goods were provided.
You could also opt for our invoicing service, which will automatically include relevant invoicing details in SA.
Can A South African Company Invoice In Dollars?
A South African company can invoice another local (or foreign) company in dollars. This scenario is expected when the said goods and services were traded in dollars or other foreign currencies. If the goods or services are supplied to a local company, the invoice amount must be converted and settled in South African Rand.
How Do I Bill An Invoice?
When writing an invoice, ensure the information is accurate and professional. It should have your company’s logo, and its outline should be formal.
You must also include the contact details of your company, and the client you are invoicing. Do not forget to add the date your invoice was created, the date it is due for payment, and the details of your preferred terms and modes of payment.
The invoice should also have a description of the goods or services that you supplied, and their respective prices. All details captured on an invoice must be accurate, and match the purchase order.
How Do I Make My Own Invoice?
You can create your own invoice by creating a document with all the invoicing details we have discussed above. The invoicing details include the service or goods you supplied, your contact information as well as the client’s, the amount due, the date of the invoice, and the payment’s due date.
However, you can also use our budget-priced invoicing automation service, to create a professional-looking invoice in SA. It is easy to use, and will automatically include all relevant details for SA invoices.
How do I Generate an Invoice Number?
As a general rule of thumb, your invoice number must end in a unique sequential number. The sequential identifier can start with any letters or numbers, but its last digits must follow a chronological order.
Arranging the last digits of your invoice number in chronological order helps you to track invoices associated with a certain transaction easily. You can assign the first part of the invoice number by date, project, customer, or any other identifier of choice.
Manual Invoicing is a long and tedious process, even when you have an in-house invoice template. It is important to consider the significance of invoices to our everyday financial dealings, they are the sole guarantees of transactions, sales, and recording keeping should in case the need for proof rises and prove to be a better management system.
For most e-commerce businesses the use of the electronic invoice is a way better option than the traditional system of invoicing, it is most convenient as it saves a lot of management stress as your business is already conducted online.
We can help you streamline the invoicing process through automation. Contact us now, and let us get started.