New Tax Laws from 1 January 2020

1. Background


The money that the Government uses to manage our country - provide education, health facilities, to fund police and the justice system, to build roads and infrastructure, comes mostly from taxes.

The Tax Administration Act comes into effect as of 1 January 2020. It makes changes that apply to Value Added Tax, Excise Tax, Rent Tax, Business Licencing and Customs Legislation.

The changes will be of particular interest to the business community.  The changes will help to:

  • Harmonise the administrative and procedural rules that apply to our tax laws.
  • Modernise Inland Revenue and improve taxpayer compliance.
  • Enshrine the fundamental rights and obligations of taxpayers

The Important changes for taxpayers to note:

·       Tax Identification Numbers

All taxpayers are required to have and use a Tax Identification Number (TIN)

·       Records

Record keeping obligations for business taxpayers are made clear

·       Forms

There will be some new forms and some forms will be revised

·       Modernising

Electronic filing and paying is facilitated in the new laws

·       Penalties and Offences

The Act introduces or revises penalties and offences, including a late filing penalty.

·       DCIR Powers

DCIR’s powers to recover debt and collect information are widened

·       Transparency

Increased transparency in the way tax is administered

·       Tax Agents

Tax Agents will need to be registered (from 1 April 2020)

·       International commitments

There will be increased cooperation with other countries tax administrations


Click here to access the Tax Administration Act no.37 of 2018


2. Tax Identification Numbers


Everyone in the business community will need to have a TIN

Everyone who becomes:

  • subject to a tax law (VAT, Rent Tax) or

  • is required to have a business license

needs to apply for a TIN, unless they already have one.

If you have a CT number, that becomes your TIN

You don’t have to apply for a TIN as your current CT number will become your TIN. 


During 2020 we expect you to change your business practices to adopt your TIN (e.g. tax invoices, receipts)

You need a TIN if you are a new business or not previously registered for VAT

You will need to complete the TIN application form.


The application will require you to provide evidence of your identity.

There are penalties for failing to apply for a TIN

A person who is required to apply for a TIN but fails to do so is liable for a penalty.


The penalty is VT10,000 for each month that they have not applied - from the date they were required to do so.

Your TIN should be used in all contacts with Inland Revenue

A TIN is a unique identifier that can be used for the purposes of all taxes. In broad terms, the issuing of a TIN is the general basis for taxpayer registration. 

TINs provide the opportunity for a “one-stop-shop” approach to taxpayer registration, thereby reducing compliance costs and over time.



3. Records




 4. Forms



5. Modernizing



6. Penalties and Offences


7. DCIR Powers



8. Transparency



9. Tax Agents



10. International Commitments