As of June 1, 2014, South Africa requires non-resident entities like Twilio Inc. & its affiliates (hereinafter, “Twilio”) to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) for any Electronically Supplied Services (“ESS”) sold to all customers located in South Africa. This guide covers how Twilio charges VAT and what services are taxable.
The following topics are discussed in this guide. Click a topic to skip directly to this information:
- Value Added Tax (VAT) overview.
- When will Twilio start charging VAT in South Africa?
- How can I be tax exempt for VAT?
- How do I enter my VAT number?
- What rate is VAT charged in South Africa?
- Where can I see the VAT charged on my Invoice?
Value Added Tax (VAT) overview
South African Revenue Service (SARS) passed legislation effective June 1, 2014, requiring non-resident entities selling digital services to collect and remit an 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) on its sales to all customers located in South Africa. Non-residents are required to apply VAT on both Business to Customer (B2C) transactions and Business to Business (B2B) transactions.
When will Twilio start charging VAT in South Africa?
Twilio will begin collecting VAT on services sold to customers located in South Africa starting in February 2024.
VAT is assessed and applied to your account at the start of the month for the previous month’s usage. For example, you will be charged VAT for your February usage in March.
How can I be tax exempt for VAT?
Twilio is required to impose VAT on both B2B and B2C customers. In other words, there are no exemptions provided under the tax provisions for the type of services that Twilio provides in South Africa. This includes but isn't limited to public school, university, charitable organizations, religious body, etc.
How do I enter my VAT number?
B2B customers can enter their VAT number in the “VAT Number” field on the Billing Preferences page in Console.
Unless your business details are provided, the tax invoice will not be fully compliant and you may not be able to deduct the VAT imposed.How is VAT determined?
VAT is applicable based on the type of products or services that are purchased. We have determined that most of Twilio’s products & services are subject to VAT.
Please ensure your service address is up to date for correct taxation.
What rate is VAT charged in South Africa?
Twilio's services will be subject to the 15% VAT rate as determined by the South African Revenue Service ( SARS)
Where can I see the VAT charged on my Invoice?
VAT can be found on your invoice in the Usage Summary section under “Taxes”. This line item represents the VAT charged.
Tax calculation is explained on the Tax Details page:
For more details, see Reading your Twilio Invoice.