All South African hotels pay a bed tax, which is included in quoted prices. In South Africa the Value-Added Tax (V.A.T.), which at this writing is 14%, is included in the price of most goods and services, including hotel accommodations and food. To get a V.A.T. refund, foreign visitors must present their receipts (minimum of R250) at the airport and be carrying any purchased items with them or in their luggage. You must fill out Form V.A.T. 255, available at the airport V.A.T. refund office. Whatever you buy, make sure that your receipt is an original tax invoice, containing the vendor's name and address, V.A.T. registration number, and the words “tax invoice.” Refunds are paid by check, which can be cashed immediately at an airport bank or refunded directly onto your credit card, with a small transaction fee. Be sure you visit the V.A.T. refund desk in the departures hall before you go through check-in procedures, and try to organize your receipts as you go, to make for easy viewing. Officials will go through your receipts and randomly ask to view your purchases.
V.A.T. Refund Office. 011/979–0055; www.taxrefunds.co.za.