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News & Press: SARS operational & eFiling questions

Is there a way an audit could be conducted in a shorter time frame?

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

Q: We have a number of individual tax clients that have been selected for an audit for their 2014 tax submission. We have been advised by SARS that this process can take up to 6 months to even be seen by an auditor. Is there any way that we can speed up this process? At least contact the auditor involved and request details that are being investigated.

A: Technically, where SARS conducts an audit they must in terms of section 42 of the Tax Administration Act (TAA) notify the taxpayer every 90 days of the progress of the audit. There is however no specific mechanism to compel SARS to deal with the matter faster. The problem arises that many of the audits done by SARS are according to them are "desks audits” similar to inspection and verification which they are of the opinion therefore do not fall within section 42 which they interpret as being field audits.

We are of the view that section 42 of the TAA does not make this distinction between field and desk audits and should SARS state that they are conducting an audit, and then the taxpayer is entitled to request the SARS to keep them informed of the progress.  Upon failure to do so you are welcome to lodge a complaint in this regard as the failure to notify would be an administrative matter.

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.


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