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The Taxing Master has to give effect to an order of court or agreement between the parties and may not make such an order by proceeding with a taxation without a court order.

Hugo v Hugo 1947 (1) SA 325 (O) at 329 – An order for costs in a divorce action does not include the costs of the interlocutory applications, such as applications for maintenance pendente lite or an application for a contribution towards costs (unless of course the costs of the proceedings were made costs in the cause.

In the same sense, the court has to specifically order what is to happen to the wasted costs of a postponement.

The principle therefor is the court has to give the Taxing Master directions by way of a court order) as to what is to happen with the costs. The Taxing Master has no discretion in this regard.

The party presenting the bill of costs will serve the bill together with the Notice of Intention to Tax Bill of Costs on the other side who then has 10 days to inspect the file and 20 days in which to file their notice to oppose together with their clearly marked bill of costs with reasons clearly stated thereon. If no opposition is filed within the 20 days, the Taxing Master will still allocate a date for taxation but the opposing side will be shown the door at the taxation and it will be taxed unopposed. 
%AM, %08 %500 %2009 %11:%May

VAT Explained on party and party costs

The issue of claiming VAT on fees and disbursements in your bill depends on the question whether you will be out of pocket or not.

The scenario is as follows:
A. You are a VAT vendor, you receive a tax invoice for R100-00 +VAT, you pay the VAT and claim it back, you are out of pocket with R100-00 – you claim the R100-00 in the bill, it is taxed and R100-00 is refunded to you (or a % thereof) – it is not income for which you have supplied goods or services, you have not issued a tax invoice so you do not have to declare it and pay any VAT on it to SARS. The unsuccessful litigant pays R100-00 in terms of the taxed bill - no claim for VAT against SARS. SARS received R14-00 from the supplier of goods or services and paid it back to you – not out of pocket.

B. You are not a VAT vendor, you receive a tax invoice for R100-00 +VAT, you pay the VAT but cannot claim it back, you are out of pocket with R114-00 – you claim the R100-00 + VAT in the bill, it is taxed and R100-00 + VAT is refunded to you (or a % thereof) – it is not income for which you have supplied goods or services, you have not issued a tax invoice so you do not have to declare it and pay any VAT on it to SARS, you receive no benefit, your out of pocket expenses (R100-00 + VAT ) or a portion thereof is merely refunded. The unsuccessful litigant pays R114-00 in terms of the taxed bill but has no claim for VAT against SARS, because there is no tax invoice, no goods sold or services rendered. SARS received R14-00 from the supplier or goods and/or services – not out of pocket.

REPORTED CASE EXPLAINING THE ISSUE OF VAT ON A PARTY AND PARTY BILL OF COSTS

PARTY AND PARTY COSTS

Party and Party costs are those costs recoverable from the other side provided there is a costs order or agreement to pay the costs. The following also constitutes only Party and Party costs and nothing more:

%PM, %04 %709 %2009 %16:%Jan

Party and party bill of costs.

In a party and party bill of costs no charge can be claimed for perusing 'heads of argument' prepared by counsel as an aid to argument, and delivered by him to his opponent through the latter's instructing attorneys.
Regard being had to the Notes preceding the tariff contained in the First Schedule to Rule 24 of the Rules of Court for all Divisions promulgated by Government Notice 2835 on 12th December, 1952, the use of the tariff simply as a guide is restricted to non-litigious matters and does not confer a discretion on the taxing master to treat the tariff simply as a guide when taxing a party and party bill of costs.

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