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News & Press: SARS operational & eFiling questions

SARS method of communication to a taxpayer without an email address

12 January 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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Author: SAIT Technical

Q: My client approached a SARS branch for completion of an income tax return, the SARS consultant then completed the return for him. However, the client does not have an e-mail address and received no correspondence via post to say that he needs to provide supporting documents. Therefore, his allowable expenses were disallowed and he was taxed on only his income.

If a Taxpayer goes to a SARS branch for assistance, and they don't have an e-mail address, why can SARS not mail correspondence via post?

A: You have not stated whether your client agreed with SARS as to the primary means of communication with him. It is not automatic that SARS will post correspondence where a taxpayer does not have an email address. 

Perhaps your client should communicate this to SARS going forward. I would recommend also encouraging your client to open an efiling account. This would definitely make life easier.

Nevertheless, SARS should post correspondence when a taxpayer has communicated to them that this should be the primary means of communication.

Look at section 251(c)(ii) of the Tax Administration Act (TAA):

Delivery of documents to persons other than companies.

If a tax Act requires or authorises SARS to issue, give, send, or serve a notice, document or other communication to a person (other than a company), SARS is regarded as having issued, given, sent or served the communication to the person if…sent to the person by post to the person’s last known address, which includes…the person’s last known post office box number or that of the person’s employer.

The legislation clearly provides for the posting of correspondence by SARS to the taxpayer. 

Regarding the disallowance of deductions for allowable expenditure, you are certainly free to object to that. You should also request SARS for a suspension of payment of the assessed tax, pending finalisation of the objection [see section 164 of the TAA], otherwise SARS will expect payment notwithstanding your objection.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this query and answer should be construed as constituting tax advice or a tax opinion. An expert should be consulted for advice based on the facts and circumstances of each transaction/case. Even though great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the answer, SAIT do not accept any responsibility for consequences of decisions taken based on this query and answer. It remains your own responsibility to consult the relevant primary resources when taking a decision.


Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.


The Act requires that a minimum academic and practical requirments be set to register with a controlling body. Click here for the minimum requirements of SAIT.

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