The inconsistancy of SARS systems is of great concern to me. Submitting all the necessary supporting documents via E-file,(system accepts and status shows send to SARS), just to receive a Final demand to submit it again because the SARS Systems do not interrelate with one another. The frustration part is that one CANNOT re-submit it on E-file again, but have to go into a SARS Branch to submit it again. This is very time consuming and unprofessional.
The frustrations faced by practitioners of the inconsistency of SARS is my greatest concern; submitting supporting documents is at the top of the list. Understandably, SARS will check supporting documentation and I've never had a problem with it - it's the lack of standard - one taxpayer will have his claim approved, while another will be denied. For the same claim, the same criteria and yet we're left scratching our heads when faced with our clients. The media implying everyone can be "good at tax" is misleading... supporting documents is no exception. Set the standard SARS, by all means. But then stick to the standard for all taxpayers. I'll jump through whatever hoops to give our clients the best service... just keep the hoops in the same place.
I also do not understand the negative comments. There is not pre justice that taxpayers are criminal. In fact if SARS had the capacity to ask every taxpayers' supporting documents they would and would have verified every line item with the supporting document. Just because some taxpayers have integrity it does not mean all have. Risks is identified by a risk engine which picks up any abnormal change or amounts to high like due to no private kms for travel. When supporting docs is asked, one should rather ask why it is asked and what the possible risks are for SARS. In fact I heard more than 20% of the documents requested mistakes was found of incorrect amounts entered. How would you have ensured the return submitted is correct if you was SARS?
I do not understand the negative comments in this regard. This is the way SARS has dealt with supporting documents for quite a while now, and should not be news to us. However, SARS's vague wording of the notice to submit supporting documents is problematic. They want ALL supporting documents, even those they have populated on the ITR12 themselves. Why can they just not tell us exactly what bothers them so that we can submit the relevant supporting documents. The problem here seems to be SARS's inability to communicate effectively.
This is a bad attitude by SARS which is based on their prejudice that taxpayers are criminal and cannot be trusted. Granted why not request the submission of the supporting document upfront to easy up the process than to request it once they have issued the original assessment because they're very inconsistent and incompetent. For example, the person that makes the original assessment will issue the letter to request supporting documentation but the one to accept it and confirm the assessment is a different one who apparently ignores the letter and the supporting documentation and deliberately or through neglect or sheer incompetency audaciously issue an additional assessment that sets a very high debit against the taxpayer and demand that it be paid immediately. Now you ask 'Is this a punishment to the taxpayer? I wonder when can such grossly inadministration be addressed.
I am not at all certain that Sars has the right to make conditions of this nature regarding submission of supporting documents. Sars often crosses the border of arrogance when it comes to instructing taxpayers on what to do, and i think this is an example.
I also question the fact that where Sars finds documents to be insufficient to satisfy their investigations, they simply issue an additional assessment. Could they not at least communicate with the practitioner to express their position. In the past, for example, Sars would accept a summary of the taxpayer's logbook, but no longer so. I have had additional assessments issued against clients without further query or comment by Sars. This again is unnecessarily arrogant and a waste of time because they will have to reverse the assessment when i produce the original documentation.
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.
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