Generally, SARS would prefer it if tax practitioners visited their branches by appointment only.
This is, however, not always possible.
In a recent SARS Pretoria stakeholder meeting, one of the issues discussed was the assistance of tax practitioners who needed to visit a SARS branch even though they did not make an appointment. In this regard, the following was decided:
For the Pretoria North, Doringkloof, Pretoria CBD
and Ashlea Gardens SARS offices, such practitioners will only be assisted upon arrival between
08h00 and 10h00 for a maximum time of 15 minutes each.
After 10h00, they will not be helped by the SARS staff; neither will they be allowed to join the general queue available to the public.
For the Pavilion branch in Brooklyn (the Tax Practitioner Unit), the aforementioned 08:00-10:00 time period will not apply. Instead, only the first 10 practitioners (without appointments) will be assisted.
These tax practitioners will be helped when a SARS agent has time to spare (in between appointments).
SAIT members operating in the Pretoria region are therefore reminded to take cognizance of such matters should they wish to visit a SARS branch.
As a Practitioner in Pta I find this practice an insult to the profession. It flies in the face of the so-called "SARS Code of conduct" and proves this document to be no more than what it is, another empty promise. I am a member of SAIT and other professional organisations not for any other reason than the ability to be represented by these organisations in forums en to engage the likes of SARS. To this extent I have to say that no SARS office should have the luxury to decide who they engage with, provided it concerns a tax matter. To refuse or limit engagement with tax practitioners is evidence of not only the lack of respect for the profession, but also the inability to deal with the very challenges that they have been appointed for and - may I add generously compensated for by the taxpayer. SAIT and other organisations need to apply pressure and demand these bureaucrats confront the challenges instead of isolating them from it by refusing to see Tax practitioners.
I found this ruling unacceptable from the start.This the work we are doing,assisting SARS to collect tax.Clients don't know when a SARS appointment will be needed,when the problem must be resolved.I can't book each day for "in case".Please explain to a client why a problem can't be resolved immediately.If you do visit Brooklyn ad hoc, you need to be in line from 7h00 on to be sure to be part of the first 10.
Make 1 or 2 dedicated practitioner helpdesks available in each branch the whole day and also a dedicated ad hoc helpdesk at Brooklyn. Why don't SARS see the use in it and why is SAIT not taking more action in this regard.
Having an opportunity to be helped at a branch is wonderful ! However, I do think it is counterproductive to disallow tax practitioners to queue. Standing in the queue is time-consuming for any person, as appointments are not always available. Will it not be in the interest of SARS to allow tax practitioners (being their agents actually) to use whichever method is preferable to them ? I was furious after queuing for hours to be refused entrance ! Should tax practitioners not be promoted, rather than be refused ? I trust that SAIT will propose a workable solution as a matter of urgency !
I think a tax practitioner should have the option to queue for service, after all we are agents for sars and provide a very important service to ensure accurate and timeous submission of returns. This ruling would put strain on the time management for tax practitioners and will have a negative effect on their businesses
Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.
MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS TO REGISTER
The Act requires that a minimum academic and practical requirments be set to register with a controlling body. Click here for the minimum requirements of SAIT.