Are tax practitioners responsible for the non-submission of a return?
28 January 2015
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
Author: SAIT Technical
Q: I have a few clients who have not forwarded their tax information for
processing despite, emailing, phone, sending text messages. What is the law
regarding clients that do not provide their information for processing? Are we
as tax practitioners still held responsible for the outstanding returns?
The relationship between
the taxpayer and tax practitioners as to manner of work and obligations is one
of contract. The contract would therefore determine how and when documents must
be sent to enable the service to be rendered. Where the taxpayer feels that the
tax practitioner’s conduct has led to a breach of this obligation and for which
he or she has suffered financial loss then a contractual claim or a delictual
claim can be instituted.
addition, the taxpayer can lay a complaint with the relevant professional
institute where the tax practitioner is a member on the basis that the tax
practitioner has breaches the relevant institute’s code of conduct.
noted if you have complied with these requirements or any other reasonable
steps, which may include notifying the taxpayer of his obligation, then the
failure to submit tax returns remains the obligation of the taxpayer in terms
of section 25-27 of the Tax Administration Act which sections do not transfer
this obligation to the tax practitioner by mere virtue of such appointment.
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.