As the traditional winter hunting season approaches and South African borders are (somewhat) more open after the stricter COVID-19 lockdown, it is important revisit the Value-Added Tax (VAT) impact of the various goods and services generally supplied to foreign hunters. The general rule is that the supply of goods or services in the Republic by a vendor to a foreign hunter is subject to VAT at the standard rate on the basis that the goods or services are consumed in the Republic. There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule.
The supply of “commercial accommodation” (lodging or board and lodging together with domestic goods and services) by a vendor to a foreign hunter is subject to VAT at the standard rate if the accommodation is supplied in the Republic. The consideration for the supply of commercial accommodation to a foreign hunter for an unbroken period of more than 28 days at an all-inclusive fee is deemed to be only 60% of the all-inclusive charge. The full value of meals, beverages and other entertainment supplied for a separate charge is subject to VAT at the standard rate. The full consideration for commercial accommodation that is supplied to the foreign hunter for less than 28 days is subject to VAT.
The nature of these services is such that the foreign hunter consumes the services whilst being physically present in the Republic. The supply of these services is therefore subject to VAT at the standard rate.
The trophy fee is consideration for the supply of the hunted animal. This constitutes a supply of goods by the hunting outfitter which may be zero-rated provided that the goods are exported under as a direct export, indirect export (with election), or an indirect export where further work will be required.
Dip and pack and taxidermy services
The supply of dip and pack and taxidermy services may be zero-rated. The zero rate can only apply if the trophy is exported to the foreign hunter after the supply of the services, provided the supplier obtains and retains the required documentary proof. If the foreign hunter collects and subsequently removes the trophy from the Republic, the trophy is not exported to the foreign hunter, and the dip and pack and taxidermy services are therefore subject to VAT at the standard rate of 15%.
Single charge for a hunting safari package
In many instances, the hunting outfitter or another person assembles a hunting safari package consisting of various goods and services (including the trophy) to be marketed to foreign hunters. Even though a single charge may be paid for a hunting safari package, multiple goods and services may be supplied as part of the hunting safari package. The supply of these goods and services cannot be regarded as being merely incidental to the supply of the trophy.
The hunting package must therefore be separated into the various supplies provided such as accommodation, food, refreshments, trophy fee, professional hunting services and taxidermy services. The vendor will then be obliged to allocate a reasonable portion of the all-inclusive charge to each of the supplies of goods and services incorporated in the package and charge VAT at either the zero or standard rate, depending on the nature of the particular goods or services supplied.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.