Recently, Mozambique witnessed a tax legislation reform, which also included VAT legislation.
As a result of the tax reform, the VAT Code approved by Decree no. 51/98 of 21 September and its amendments were revoked by Law no. 32/2007 of 31 December, which also approved the new VAT Code that has been in force since 1 January 2008.
Currently the VAT legislation is mainly established in the aforesaid VAT Code and in its Regulation that was approved subsequently by Decree no. 7/2008 of 16 April, as well as other complementary legislation.
In general and in essence, the new VAT code and its regulation follow the same rules as those set in the previous Code approved by Decree 51/98.
Rates and scope
The Mozambique (unique) VAT rate is 17%. Certain goods and services are charged at 0%.
Scope VAT is levied on the:
supply of goods – the transfer of the right to dispose of tangible property as owner, which includes commercial transactions, hire purchase, sale by instalments with reserve of ownership, commission, consignment, and application of goods forming part of a business for private use or for non-business purposes when on such goods tax has been deducted, use of goods on which tax has been deducted for a purpose or in a sector where right of deduction is excluded;
supply of services – as a residual concept it includes all the operations carried out that are not a supply of goods, including the supply of services free of charge made by the company in view of the personal needs of the company or of its staff, or to purposes not related to the company, and the personal use of a company’s goods as well as its use for purposes not related to the company and in exempt sectors of activity when input tax has been deducted on such goods;
importation of goods, being the entry of goods into the territory of the country.
The following persons will be liable for the payment of VAT:
any person carrying on an economic activity on an independent and regular basis;
any person carrying on an operation on an occasional basis;
nonresidents carrying on operations;
No provision is made for voluntary registration.
Group or branch registration
Companies in the same group (holding company and subsidiaries) cannot apply for one registration for the whole group as each company must be registered separately.
Companies or branches of foreign entities only register for tax once – if they open additional offices within the country, it is under the same registration. Each foreign entity registering as a branch is specifically registered for VAT.
Nonresident entities, without permanent establishment in Mozambique, carrying out transactions in the national territory, should appoint a resident legal representative to comply with the respective VAT obligations.
importers (whether or not they are entrepreneurs);
cases of self-assessment;
any person who unduly charges VAT on an invoice; and
the state, except if those activities are not carried out in a significant manner (including telecommunications, water, gas and electricity distribution, transport, ports and airports, TV and radio, etc).
If the VAT representative of the nonresident company is an entity already registered with the Tax Authorities, the registration of the nonresident entity is made through the completion and submission of the form ‘Declaration of Amendments’.
If the VAT representative of the nonresident company is an entity not registered with the Tax Authorities, the registration of the nonresident entity is made through the completion and submission of a form designated Model No. 6 – ‘Declaration of registration of companies’.
All corporate or individual entities carrying out taxable economic activities are obliged, prior to the start of their activities, to register themselves with the competent Tax Department.
The legal representative and the nonresident entity are severally liable before the Mozambican Tax Authorities.
Should the nonresident entity fail to appoint a legal representative in