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News & Press: SARS operational & eFiling questions

How long SARS can take on a VAT Review

11 March 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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Author: SAIT Technical

The answer to this query is based on legislation as at 2014/03/11.

Q: I have a question regarding the turnaround time of SARS VAT Reviews/Audits. As per my knowledge it is normally 21 business days after we have submitted the required documentation. When I approached the ssmo this morning because of a VAT review not finalised after 21 business days, this is the response that I received:

Good day, Please note that the refund has been routed to audit which is still within the turnaround time of 3-12 months. Please refer your query to the contact centre.The case is rejected and closed from the SSMO side.  

A: Section 42 of the TAA, provides that a SARS official involved in or responsible for an audit must, in the form and in the manner as may be prescribed by the Commissioner by public notice, provide the taxpayer with a report indicating the stage of the completion of the audit. SARS issued Public Notice No. 788 on 1 October 2012 in Government Gazette No. 35733 (‘the Public Notice’) for this purpose. In terms of the Public Notice, a taxpayer is entitled to a status update of the audit within 90 days after commencement of the audit and within 90 day intervals thereafter. The Public Notice goes on to provide the manner and form which the report should take:


"The report must include the following details as at the date of the report:

  • A description of the current scope of the audit;
  • The stage of completion of the audit;
  • Relevant material still outstanding from the taxpayer” 

S 42 of the TAA:

"42. Keeping taxpayer informed.—(1) A SARS official involved in or responsible for an audit under this Part must, in the form and in the manner as may be prescribed by the Commissioner by public notice, provide the taxpayer with a report indicating the stage of completion of the audit.

(2) Upon conclusion of the audit or a criminal investigation, and where—(a) the audit or investigation was inconclusive, SARS must inform the taxpayer accordingly within 21 business days; or(b) the audit identified potential adjustments of a material nature, SARS must within 21 business days, or the further period that may be required based on the complexities of the audit, provide the taxpayer with a document containing the outcome of the audit, including the grounds for the proposed assessment or decision referred to in section 104 (2).

(3) Upon receipt of the document described in subsection (2) (b), the taxpayer must within 21 business days of delivery of the document, or the further period requested by the taxpayer that may be allowed by SARS based on the complexities of the audit, respond in writing to the facts and conclusions set out in the document.” 

Kindly also bear in mind that interest on delayed refunds is payable by SARS in terms of s44 of the Value Added Tax Act (in this instance). 


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