SAIT Practitioner Meeting With SARS – Western Cape
23 September 2013
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
Author: SAIT Technical
The purpose of the meeting was for members to interact amongst each other and with the SARS officials in their region. SAIT members from the Western Cape attended an informal get-together with SARS officials (including two branch managers and efiling specialist) on 19 September at the Lord Charles Hotel. SARS had the opportunity to address the top six burning issues of tax practitioners. These issues were as follows:
1) Discontinuance of debit pull –
Tax practitioners are concerned about the inability to pay or now make late payments to SARS as a result of this change. SARS re-iterated that the debit pull will not be available after 30 September 2013 due to the risks involved for SARS and that tax practitioners are to advise their clients about these changes. SAIT informed members that it is meeting with the banks on 25 Sept to discuss these issues further with them as some bank call centres are not aware of this change and cannot assist taxpayers with this change due to their systems not allowing certain banking products to use the credit push. SAIT will issue an alert on the outcome of the meeting with the Banking Association of South Africa (so check your mails from SAIT regularly).
2) SARS contacting taxpayers and not tax practitioners first –
SARS stated that they would endeavour to first contact the tax practitioner but if they are not available they will contact the taxpayer.
3) Appointments at branch offices:
Tax practitioners complain that these appointments are difficult to come by. SARS stated that their capacity for these appointments is limited and urged tax practitioners to make use of the emailing facility rather (especially for account maintenance queries) so that these appointments can be used for important matters that cannot be resolved by email.
4) Efiling tax practitioner view differs to what SARS sees on its system –
The reason for this appears to be the fact that the SARS auditor has not put the case back on the system and then the tax still shows as outstanding. This will be followed up by SARS but these type of queries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Eugene is also available for training on efiling in this region so please consult the SARS website for these dates and times.
5) Suspension of payment –
Who should these letters be submitted to? SARS has indicated that they should be sent to the email@example.com. SAIT has requested that a standard form and email address be supplied for these requests.
6) Efiling time out reduced to 5 mins –
SARS has stated that this is the international norm in the financial industry, but tax practitioners were also urged to log off once they are done as some tax practitioners remain logged onto the system for hours without working on the return. Tax practitioners were also asked to ensure that their browser set-up is correct as this is also a cause why the system is logged out after 5 mins despite the fact that tax practitioners were actually working on the system.
Registration of tax practitioners was also discussed and SARS urges all tax practitioners that were previously registered with SARS and that have not gone into their SARS profiles to please update their status (by indicating which recognised controlling body the person belongs to) in order to avoid committing an offence.
This type of meeting will be held across the country for SAIT members – further details of these will be provided in due course. SAIT urges its members to attend these meetings and to arrive if they have accepted the invitation as there are costs involved in facilitating these meetings and SAIT wishes to spend its members funds wisely. Overall, this meeting was a huge success for all involved and SAIT thanks the SARS officials for giving up their time in the evening to meet with our members.