Can SARS request supporting documents be made only telephonically or must they write a letter?
19 March 2015
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
Author: SAIT Technical
Q: Our client submitted his 2014 tax return and was
informed telephonically by SARS that they request his logbook for prior years.
Are we allowed to ask a
SARS auditor to put that in writing a request for a logbook for 2012 and 2013
For the 2012
& 2013 tax years, SARS has requested supporting documentation, which we
submitted, and my client received his refund during these tax years based on
the information he submitted. So surely this information should already be on
their system, and the auditor can simply check there?
My thinking is
that if SARS is going to do an audit of previous tax years, a letter should be drafted
by the auditor (not a telephonic request) and there must be section in the
Income Tax Act or TAA that we can use to advise SARS that the client has a
certain amount of time (maybe 21 working days) to provide documentation they
require for 2012 and 2013 tax year.
A: You are not prohibited from asking that he requests the logbook is
writing; it’s the wise thing to do.
Just be aware of section 46(1) of the Tax
Administration Act, which deals with SARS requests for relevant material:
"SARS may, for
the purposes of the administration of a tax Act in relation to a taxpayer,
whether identified by name or otherwise objectively identifiable, require the
taxpayer or another person to, within a reasonable period, submit relevant
material (whether orally or in writing) that SARS requires.”
Relevant material is then defined in section 1
of the same Act as:
document or thing that is foreseeably relevant for the administration of a tax
Act as referred to in section 3’
Unfortunately the SARS auditor would not have
to make his request in writing, if he doesn’t want to. But I believe if you ask
nicely he may make a formal request in writing.
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