SARS method of communication to a taxpayer without an email address
12 January 2015
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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
Look at section 251(c)(ii) of the Tax Administration Act
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