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Mozambique VAT Guide for Digital Businesses

Local Taxes:
Tax threshold:
MZN 0 for digital goods
Autoridade Tributária de Moçambique

No matter where you live or where your online business is based — if you have customers in Mozambique, you gotta follow Mozambican VAT rules. That’s what this guide is for! This guide includes everything you need to know about digital tax laws in Mozambique, whether your customers live in Maputo or Pemba.

Digital Products

First, let’s confirm what you’re trying to sell in Mozambique. Are you selling digital products?

A digital product is any product that’s stored, delivered, and used in an electronic format. These are goods or services that the customer receives via email, by downloading them from the Internet, or through logging into a website.

You’re probably consuming and using digital products all day long, whether or not you realize it. Here are some common ones on the market today:

  • E-books, images, movies, and videos, whether buying a copy from Shopify or using a service like Netflix. In tax language, these products are in a category usually called, “Audio, visual, or audio-visual products.”
  • Downloadable and streaming music, whether buying an MP3 or using a service like SoundCloud or Spotify. Of course, these products also fall in the audio category.
  • Cloud-based software and as-a-Service products, such as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
  • Websites, site hosting services, and internet service providers.
  • Online ads and affiliate marketing. Income from these services can be considered taxable under digital tax policies.

Not sure if what you sell is considered a “digital product?” Check out our explanation of what a digital product is exactly.

Heads up: you might also hear of digital goods referred to as “digital services,” “e-goods”, or “e-services.” All of these terms refer to the same thing.

Mozambique’s VAT for digital products

VAT is the consumption tax throughout Mozambique, levied on almost everything sold in the country. There are specific rules around digital products, which you must follow closely to stay tax compliant.

If you sell digital products to a customer in Mozambique, you must charge the VAT rate. Simple, right?

It’s simple in theory. But in practice, Mozambique VAT has a bit more complexity. You don’t necessarily need to add tax to every sale. It can depend on the amount of sales you make in the country, whether the sale is B2B or B2C, and other things. We’ll go into more detail about each of these throughout the rest of the guide!

Registering for Mozambique’s VAT

Is there a sales registration threshold?

No, Mozambique does not have a sales registration threshold for the sale of digital goods and services. This means that even if you make just one sale in the country, you must register your business for Mozambique’s VAT.

The registration process

So, it turns out you do need to register for tax in Mozambique. Don’t worry! Just follow these instructions from the Mozambican tax authority on how to register for Mozambican VAT.

Ultimately, you will receive a VAT registration number, which establishes you in the Mozambican tax system as a legal business. This number tracks your business through the system: the taxes you pay, the tax credits you receive, plus the tax you charge from customers.

Do you need a local tax representative?

Yes, Mozambique requires that you sign up for VAT through a local tax representative.

Collecting VAT in Mozambique

If you sell B2C

Once you’re registered for taxes, you’re expected to charge 16% VAT on every sale to a Mozambican resident.

If you sell B2B

If your customer is a fellow business, and they’ve provided a valid VAT number, then adding and collecting tax isn’t necessary! The buyer will handle tax, via Mozambique’s reverse-charge mechanism.

VAT invoices in Mozambique

In order to comply with tax laws, you should include the following information on your invoices to customers in Mozambique:

  • Your business’ name and address
  • Your business’ VAT registration number
  • Invoice date
  • Invoice sequencing number
  • Buyer’s name and address
  • Buyer’s VAT registration number, if they have one.
  • VAT (amount and rate) applied to each item
  • Final amount after tax is added
  • The currency used

You need to store these invoices for ten years. Yes, that sounds excessive, but you must keep them on file in case any authority wants to verify your tax history.

The easiest solution for the VAT invoice would be to use a tax software that automatically generates and sends all invoices (as soon as the sale is complete), and also stores them in the cloud for you. Quaderno does just that, but we won’t go on about it here. :)

Filing VAT returns in Mozambique

Charging and collecting tax is only the first half of staying compliant. The second, and equally important, half is filing returns and paying whatever you might owe to the government.

In Mozambique, foreign businesses are expected to file tax returns every month. You have 20 days to file and pay after the end of each month. So your VAT return for April would be due by May 20.

Note: At Quaderno we love providing helpful information and best practices about taxes, but we are not certified tax advisors. For further help, or if you are ever in doubt, please consult a professional tax advisor or the tax authorities.

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