Waiting period of receiving refunds from SARS
20 January 2015
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
Author: SAIT Technical
Q: Where can I get
information on the time periods that SARS is allowed to take after
notification/finalization of actions? For example – I have a client that
received a Completion Letter re Verification of assessment (2014 IT) on
11/11/2014 – up to date the client has not received his refund from SARS.
SARS informed us that this has a 60 working days waiting period for payment
(after the completion letter). Please let me know where we can find the
waiting periods for the different processes of SARS.
A: As far as income tax is concerned,
unfortunately there is no provision that compels SARS to pay a refund to a
taxpayer within a specified time-frame, notwithstanding the fact that SARS has
in previous years paid out refunds very quickly. The periods in which SARS
previously attempted to pay the refunds were based more on their internal
policy rather than law.
Furthermore, the Tax Administration Act (TAA) does not prescribe a period
in which SARS must be finished with the verification of supporting documents
(or an audit).
However, section 42(1) of the TAA states:
A SARS official involved in or responsible for an audit under this Chapter
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.
Here is the very short public notice released by the Commissioner in terms
of section 42(1):
SARS "time periods”
There’s not really one place or document that contains all the waiting
periods for the different SARS processes, but the section 103 of the Tax
Administration Act rules (the "ADR rules”), which deal with the entire
objection and appeal process, do contain time periods SARS must stick to
regarding things like providing reasons for an assessment, informing the
taxpayer of the outcome of an objection/appeal, etc. So you can consult that
document, as well as its SARS guide, for those details. You can also
consult the Short Guide to the Tax Administration Act for the SARS time periods
of their other ‘administration’ processes. In conclusion, you would have to check the relevant tax provision (in the
applicable Act) dealing with the relevant process and look for a time period
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.