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On-line version ISSN 2709-555X
Print version ISSN 1682-5853


KABWE, Ruddy  and  VAN ZYL, SP. Value-added tax in the digital economy: a fresh look at the South African dispensation. Obiter [online]. 2021, vol.42, n.3, pp.499-528. ISSN 2709-555X.

The online purchase of digital goods has the propensity to generate tax liability involving a notable rise in administrative costs for tax authorities. Online transactions involving the supply of digital goods by foreign businesses to South African consumers are subject to Value-Added Tax ("VAT"). Since 2014, the Value-Added Tax Act 89 of 1991 provides for registration and the reverse-charge mechanism as a means to collect VAT on online cross-border trade in digital goods. From 1 April 2019, significant changes to the VAT Act have been implemented regulating VAT on online cross-border trade in digital goods. This article examines these amendments by way of a comparative analysis of similar legislation in Australia and the European Union with the main aim of making recommendations for the adequate and cost-effective collection of VAT on online cross-border trade in digital goods.

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