28 March 2013
Posted by: Author: Michael Stein
Source: Michael Stein
Section 47 of the Tax Administration Act 2011 provides that a senior sars official may, by notice, require a person, whether or not chargeable to tax, to attend in person at the time and place designated in the notice for the purpose of being interviewed by a sars official concerning the person’s tax affairs. The official may do so if the interview is intended to clarify issues of concern to sars in order to render further verification or audit unnecessary and is not for purposes of a criminal investigation.
The senior sars official issuing the notice may require the person interviewed to produce relevant material under the control of the person during the interview. The notice must refer to what is considered to be relevant material with ‘reasonable specificity’.
A person may, however, decline to attend an interview, if the distance between the place designated in the notice and the usual place of business or residence of the person exceeds the distance prescribed by the Commissioner by public notice.
The Commissioner issued such a notice on 1 October 2012. It states that a person may decline to attend an interview if he or she is required to travel more than 200 kms to and back from the place designated in the notice from his or her usual place of business or residence.
This distance does not, however, apply to persons described in s 211(3)(a), (b) and (c) of the Act. The following persons are described there:
- Companies listed on a ‘recognised stock exchange’ as referred to in para 1 of the Eighth Schedule to the Income Tax Act (capital gains tax). This paragraph refers to an exchange licensed under the Securities Services Act 2004 and an exchange in a country other than South Africa that is similar to such an exchange and has been recognised by the Minister of Finance for the purposes of the Eighth Schedule by notice in the Gazette.
- Companies the gross receipts or accruals of which for the ‘preceding year’ exceeded R500 million.
- Companies that form part of a ‘group of companies’ as defined in s 1 of the Income Tax Act, if the group includes a company described in the other two bulleted items above.
Companies that form part of a ‘group of companies’ as defined in s 1 of the Income Tax Act, if the group includes a company described in the other two bulleted items above.