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Tax Practitioner Registration Requirements & FAQ's
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Part A: Tax Practitioner Membership – FAQ's

 


1. Is it compulsory to register with SAIT to practice taxation?

SAIT is a 'recognised controlling body' as defined in the Tax Administration Act, 2011 ('the Act').
Section 240A of the Act requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognised controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offence not to register with both a recognised controlling body and SARS.


2. Why was SAIT established?

The Institute was established as a need was identified in South Africa to constitute a professional body that focus on the needs of the tax profession and the general public. The Institute was established in line with international best practice and is also a member of the International Tax Director’s Forum (ITDF). Member bodies include:

  • The Taxation Institute of Australia
  • Irish Taxation Institute
  • Chartered Institute of Taxation UK
  • Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria
  • American Bar Association
  • Netherlands Association of Tax Advisers
  • USA Taxation Executive Institute
  • Chamber of Tax Advisers of the Czech Republic


Part B: Tax Practitioner Registration - FAQ's

A number of questions have been raised concerning the legislation and the registration process of tax practitioners with SARS. These are dealt with below.


1. For what purpose will the information that is collected be used and to whom will it be made available?

The first point to be made is that the information is being collected in terms of a provision of the Income Tax Act and is, therefore, subject to the secrecy provisions contained in section 4 of that Act. As explained in paragraph 1, the information is required to make better informed decisions regarding the system for the regulation of tax practitioners. To the extent that it is used in the process of consultation with other parties it will be used in a format that will not disclose the identity of the person who provided the information. If after consultation with stakeholders it is decided to proceed with the creation of a board and it is the view that the information will facilitate the operation of the process, then legislative authority will be requested to provide the information to the board. As a professional body the proposed board will no doubt be required to treat the information as confidential.


2. Can SARS refuse to register a person?

No provision is made in the legislation for the refusal of registration of a person who is providing advice in respect of tax matters or who is completing or assisting with the completion of tax documents, and is not excluded from registration by a provision in subsection (2) of section 67A of the Income Tax Act. A person’s educational qualifications, experience, type of tax advice or services provided or the volume of services provided, does not affect registration in terms of these provisions.



3. Are there any minimum qualification criteria to register as a tax practitioner?

Yes. All registered tax practitioners are required to register with a recognised controlling body, such as SAIT. All recognised controlling bodies requires a minimum academic qualification.

 


4. Are there any minimum experience criteria to register as a tax practitioner?

Yes. All registered tax practitioners are required to register with a recognised controlling body, such as SAIT. All recognised controlling bodies requires practical experience in basic taxation law and accounting.


5. Is there any examination that one needs to write before registering with SAIT?

Yes and No. Applicants holding a National Senior Certificate (grade 12), together with a relevant accredited Certificate in Taxation are not required to write an entrance examination. However, each application will be dealt with on its own merit. In the event that the short course and/or bookkeeping qualification is outdated, applicants will be subjected to a 2.5 hour online competency examination.

Applicants with a full tertiary qualification, such as a B Com LLB, are currently not required to complete an additional examination, provided that continuing professional development has been maintained during the preceding 36 months before application for membership.


6. Who must register where the tax services are rendered via a Close Corporation?

The individual members (natural persons) of the cc must register as tax practitioners not the cc.


7. Who must register where the tax services are rendered via a company?

The natural persons working for the company who have sign-off powers must register as tax practitioners with SARS.
 


8. Who must register where the tax services are provided by an accounting or legal firm?

The directors or partners of the firm as well as anyone whose work is not supervised by any partner or director must register.


9. Do persons who provide tax advice to their employers as part of their employers, for example, the group tax manager of a group of companies have to register?

No, they do not have to register with SARS.
 


10. Do you have to register if you provide tax assistance for no consideration, for example, where you assist family members in correctly completing tax returns?

No, you do not need to register with SARS.

 


 

 

WHY REGISTER WITH SAIT?

Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS TO REGISTER

The Act requires that a minimum academic and practical requirments be set to register with a controlling body. Click here for the minimum requirements of SAIT.

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