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Technical Alert: Discontinuation Of Debit Pull Transactions By SARS On Efiling

05 September 2013   (2 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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Author: SAIT Technical

Dear SAIT members

SAIT is aware of the problems experienced with the discontinuation of debit pull transactions introduced by SARS this week, but that should only have effect within one month. In this regard we wish to point out that SAIT has been informed by SARS that if the taxpayer/practitioner agrees to the terms and conditions, the debit pull will still continue (that is it is not phased out yet). However, this will only apply if the payment is on a return and if the taxpayer/practitioner is not using additional payments.

Thus the debit pull has not stopped, but there is a warning and a tax practitioner can still use debit pull if you agree to the terms and conditions. In this regard, SAIT has sent the following concerns to SARS for consideration:

"A question was posed as to whether accepting the "terms and conditions” as you mentioned is not perhaps impossible to do by tax practitioners as you have to be a legal party to the bank account in order to do this and as a tax practitioner, you do not have signing powers on your clients’ bank accounts and by selecting the debit pull option without signing powers, you could be committing a criminal offence. Is this understanding correct?

Further problems with this proposed change are as follows:

  • It is not possible to implement in respect of tall taxpayers particularly those who do not do electronic banking or have no access to the internet (such as farmers and fishermen who may be at sea).
  • Practitioners appointed to submit and pay for taxes cannot access the client’s bank accounts.
  • Clients use practitioners to have payments made on time. What if client is not contactable to authorise payment?
  • Employees in a company responsible for payment of eg PAYE do not necessarily have access to the bank account to release payments.

In addition, there is also a problem with the requirement that tax practitioners need to all get a USER ID for a credit push instead of the old method of debit pulls. Further details on this would be appreciated as on phoning Standard bank for this it was established that they do not issue these User IDs  to non - business banking clients. So the questions is what are all the individuals going to do who use normal banking? 

These changes are thus causing major problems for tax practitioners and will definitely cause lots of penalties to be incurred. Your guidance and advise us on the way forward would be greatly appreciated”.

SAIT will keep you abreast of any progress made in this regard. Should you have any additional concerns other than those already raised above, please do not hesitate to contact Sharon Smulders (ssmulders@thesait.org.za).

Comments...

Marie- L. Marais says...
Posted 17 September 2013
Is there any news regarding this situation? I also feel that at my firm we always get authorisation from the client before starting any payment process to SARS.
Clinton Forlee says...
Posted 06 September 2013
I second the many concerns already mentioned by other Tax Practitioners. I highly urge SAIT to further push for SARS to maintain the Pull option, as I believe that this is truly the best option for all concerned - Taxpayers, Tax Practitioners & SARS. At our firm, and i'm sure this is the case with all other tax practitioner offices, we first get authorisation from the taxpayers before we load the Debit Pull transaction. Why use Credit Push option for an unnecessary second authorisation from the taxpayer? It's like SARS wants to move backwards. Let's stand together for what's best. Thanks for everyone's comments thus far.

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