South Africa on par with international tax standards/qualifications
09 April 2014
Posted by: Author: Ronél de Kock
Author: Ronél de Kock
The South African
Quality Authority (SAQA) is pleased to finally announce the registration of the
Tax Professional as an occupational qualification, after a five year gestation
which incorporated lengthy deliberations between the South African Revenue Service,
industry and academia.
stakeholders assisted in the development of the occupation qualification, with
large professional services firms and universities playing the leading role. "The development of the tax occupational qualification
is a landmark qualification for South Africa,” comments Cheryl James,
CEO of Seta for Finance, Accounting, Management
Consulting and Other Financial Services (Fasset); which was responsible for
funding the occupational development.
The South African Institute
of Tax Professionals (SAIT) was appointed by government to set the standard and
ensure compliance with the criteria laid down for the occupation."In line with SARS’
respected international status, South Africa now enjoys an international
standard of qualification for the tax profession”, says Chief Executive of
SAIT, Stiaan Klue. Klue is also the continent wide vice president of the
African Association of Tax Institutes.
The tax profession
has been in the spotlight in recent years for non-compliance. Minister of
Finance, Pravin Gordhan introduced law in 2013 which required all tax
practitioners to register with SARS and a recognised controlling body, such as
SAIT, by 1 July 2013.
According to SARS
reports there are 34000 tax practitioners in South Africa - 17000 tax advisors
do not have a tax qualification. Minister Gordhan has criticised the wide
spread non-compliance of tax
practitioners, alleging that tax advisors owe over R260 million in outstanding taxes,
and account for more than 18 000 outstanding income tax returns in their
shudders to think that they offer tax advice to the public without formal
training. In recent years tax legislation has become very complex, and the
non-compliance highlighted by the Minister can be directly linked to their
technical ability to perform the work. The occupational qualification will
address the issue of training and certification of tax professionals and ensure
South Africa compares with the international standard," says SAIT Head of
Education Ronel de Kock Head.