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ENTRY CRITERIA FOR DESIGNATION LEVELS

Master Level (MTP SA)

1.       Basic Entry

In order to qualify for entry at a master level, the applicant must satisfy both:  (i) an academic qualification component, and (ii) a practical workplace component. 

In terms of the academic component, the applicant must have successfully completed a National Qualification Framework (NQF) Level 9 qualification that includes a module / course in tax.  An NQF Level 9 qualification of this nature typically includes an M Com, an LLM or Higher Diploma in tax in a University programme (within South Africa or abroad).

In terms of the practical workplace component, the applicant must have engaged in tax work as his or her sole or main activity for 3 consecutive years out of the last 10 years.  Proof that this requirement is satisfied is achieved by providing a resume of tax work experience (verified by an employer or other senior tax professional).

2.            Trainee status

In terms of the Master Level, there is a temporary waiver to the three-year practical workplace component for new programme graduates.  Applicants can waive the 3-year practical requirement for up to 5 years after obtaining an NQF Level 9.  In order to fall within trainee status, applicants must declare their intent to fulfil the 3-year practical workplace requirement as soon as possible and are working as full-time employees solely or mainly dedicated to tax work within the five-year period.  (Note:  Trainees cannot rely on their SAIT qualification to obtain a SARS practitioner registration number until the 3-year practical workplace requirement is satisfied.)

3.            Alternative “discretionary” entry options

Applicants lacking an NQF Level 9 qualification can still obtain a “Master Level” designation pursuant to a discretionary waiver approved by the SAIT education committee.  (Note:  There is no “trainee status” for applicants seeking this discretionary waiver.)
Applicants seeking this waiver can do so through one of two alternatives:

  • Alternative #1 – Senior Tax Position:  The applicant must be a (non-equity or equity) partner or director of a law firm or accounting firm with three or more full-time partners/directors.  If the applicant works outside of a law firm or an accounting firm, the applicant must be the managing tax director of either a listed company or an unlisted company with at least three support staff that are solely or mainly dedicated to tax work.  The applicant must have engaged in tax work as his or her sole or main activity for 3 consecutive years out of the last 10 years.
  • Alternative #2 – Seasoned General Level Tax Practitioner with Elite Tax Expertise:  The applicant must possess at least 10 years of experience as a general tax practitioner that is solely or mainly dedicated to tax work.

In terms of both alternatives, the applicant must provide evidence of advanced taxation law competence as approved by SAIT.  The applicant’s NQF level will be relevant to this determination (i.e. NQF levels 7 or 8 will be given priority). 

Tax Advisor Level

Spesialised entry route ONLY for Occupational Certificate: Tax Professional candidates. 

1. Basic entry

In order to qualify for entry at advisor level, the applicant must satisfy all requirements for the Occupational Certificate Tax Professional Qualification (NQF8); SAQA Reg.No. 93624.

2.            Trainee status

In terms of the advisor level, there is a temporary waiver to the three-year practical workplace component for new programme graduates registered on the Tax Professional Learnership (01/Q010048/00/400/8). 

General Level (GTP SA)

1. Basic entry

In order to qualify for entry at a general level, the applicant must satisfy both:  (i) an academic qualification component, and (ii) a practical workplace component.
In terms of the academic component, the applicant must have successfully completed an NQF Level 7 or 8 qualification that includes a module in tax.  An NQF Level 7 or 8 qualification of this nature typically includes a B Com, B Tech, a law degree (in South Africa or abroad)
In terms of the practical workplace component, the member must have engaged in tax work as his or her sole or main activity for 3 consecutive years out of the last 10 years.    Proof that this requirement is satisfied is achieved by providing a resume of tax work experience (verified by an employer or other senior tax professional).

2.            Trainee status

In terms of the general level, there is a temporary waiver to the three-year practical workplace component for new programme graduates.  Applicants can waive the 3-year practical requirement for up to 5 years after obtaining an NQF Level 7 or 8.  In order to fall within trainee status, applicants must declare their intent to fulfil the 3-year practical workplace requirement as soon as possible and are working as full-time employees solely or mainly dedicated to tax work within the five-year period.  (Note:  Trainees cannot rely on their SAIT qualification to obtain a SARS practitioner registration number until the 3-year practical workplace requirement is satisfied.)

Technician Level (TT SA)

1.            Basic Entry

 In order to qualify for entry at a technical level, the applicant must satisfy both:  (i) an academic qualification component (which includes an examination), and (ii) a practical workplace component.

In terms of the academic component:

  • The applicant must have successfully completed an NQF Level 5,6 or higher qualification regardless of whether a tax module was included).  An NQF Level 5 or 6 qualification of this nature typically includes an occupational certificate (in South Africa or abroad) and sometimes includes a 7 or higher qualification lacking any tax modules.
  • The applicant must satisfy a Recognition of Prior Learning (“RPL”) examination if the applicant has only an NQF Level 5 or 6 qualification without any tax modules.  This examination is regularly offered by SAIT. Applicants with an NQF Level 6 module that includes a tax module and applicants with an NQL Level 7 or more (with or without a tax module) need not complete the RPL examination.

In terms of the practical workplace component, the applicant must have engaged in tax work as his or her sole or main activity for 5 consecutive years out of the last 3 years.  Proof that this requirement is satisfied is achieved by providing a resume of tax work experience as well as by providing a portfolio of evidence of tax projects undertaken by the applicant in accordance with the forms provided by SAIT.  Both the resume of work tax experience and the portfolio of evidence must be verified by an employer or by another senior tax professional.

Note #1:  Certain applicants with an NQF Level 4 may find that they can independently upgrade their NQF level to a 5 or 6 status by submitting their qualification and / or tax work experience to the ICB (Institute of Certified Bookkeepers for which SAIT has an Memorandum of Understanding).

Note #2:  Applicants with an NQF Level 5 have the option of taking a final tax examination with SAIT in order to reach NQF level 6 if so desired.  This examination is in lieu of the RPL examination.

2.            NQF Level 4 Entry

Applicants with an NQF Level 4 may be eligible for tax technician status under essentially the same conditions as applicants with a higher NQF Level but for one caveat.  SARS requires members with an NQF Level 4 status to upgrade their NQF Level to a minimum of 5 within three years of membership entry or enter into a formal education programme that includes a tax module (including the SAIT Tax Technician Qualification programme) during the same three year period.

3.            SAIT Tax Technician Qualification Programme

Applicants may alternatively join the SAIT Tax Technician Qualification Programme with satisfaction of the programme resulting in Tax Technician status. The programme contains both academic and workplace components.  Entry into the programme requires an NQF Level 4 (regardless of whether a tax module was included).
At an academic level, the programme includes an RPL examination as well as a final examination.  In terms of the practical component, the programme includes monitored dedicated tax work of 3 years, which includes logbook verification.  (Note:  Applicants may not receive a SARS practitioner number until the qualification programme is successfully completed.)

4.            Elderly entrants

Pursuant to the SARS guidelines, the entry requirements for applicants of age 63 or more are slightly reduced in terms of the academic qualification.  The applicant must still satisfy both:  (i) an academic qualification component (which includes an examination), and (ii) a practical workplace component.
In terms of the academic component:

  • The applicant must have successfully completed an NQF Level 4 (as opposed to a higher level).
  • The applicant must satisfy a Recognition of Prior Learning (“RPL”) examination.  This examination is regularly offered by SAIT.

In terms of the practical workplace component, the applicant must have engaged in tax work as his or her sole or main activity for 5 consecutive years out of the last 10 years.  Proof that the practical workplace component is satisfied is achieved by providing a resume of tax work experience as well as a by providing a portfolio of evidence of tax projects undertaken by the applicant in accordance with the terms provided by SAIT.  Both the resume of work tax experience and the portfolio of evidence must be verified by an employer or by another senior tax professional.

WHY REGISTER WITH SAIT?

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.

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