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How to lodge a complaint
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A. HOW TO LODGE A COMPLAINT:

The Institute recognises the fact that that a balance needs to be maintained between the interest of the complainant and the interest of members of the Institute. The complainant needs to be provided with a method of addressing unprofessional conduct on the part of a member. At the same time the Institute has to be mindful of the fact that in many instances, membership of a professional controlling body is a requirement for practice as a tax practitioner and/or tax professional and that suspension or termination of membership can impact on a member’s ability to earn an income. This may in turn have a negative effect on a members dependants, staff and their dependants.

In order to address this concern and to ensure a balance of interest and that complaints are dealt with as effectively as possible, the Institute subscribes to a formal disciplinary process that is modelled on the procedural requirements set forth in the rules of the High Court of South Africa, with the necessary modification to facilitate the disciplinary process. In order to lodge a complaint, the following steps need to be followed:

1. DETERMINE JURISDICTION:

The first step in the process is to ascertain whether the tax professional / tax practitioner against whom the complaint is to be lodged is in fact a member of the Institute since the Institute will only be able to consider complaints against members. This can easily be ascertained by directing a query to the membership department of the Institute. Queries may be directed to Me Sindy du Pont by email to info@thesait.org.za.

Please note that the membership department will only confirm membership and that no further particulars with regard to a member will be provided.

Complaints that do not reference the member’s membership number may be rejected or the consideration thereof delayed.

2. DETERMINE IF THE CONDUCT CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE MEMBER:

Once the tax professional / tax practitioner has been properly identified and it has been confirmed that the tax professional / tax practitioner is in fact a member of the Institute, Consider whether the conduct can in fact be attributed to the member.

For example: the member may be employed by a company with whom the complainant contracted for the provision of professional services. Should a dispute arise between the complainant and the company with regard to the processing of debit orders from the complainant’s bank account and which fall outside the control or influence of the member, then it will be a dispute between the complainant and the company that is not directly attributable to any misconduct by the member. In such an event the Institute will be limited in its ability to act against the member (if at all).

3. DETERMINE IF THE CONDUCT RELATES TO THE PRACTICE OF THE MEMBER AS A TAX PRACTITIONER:

Can the conduct of the member be linked to a contravention of any of the provisions of the Code of Conduct and/or Disciplinary Rules and/or Taxation Standards of the Institute.

4. DRAFT THE FOUNDING AFFIDAVIT SETTING OUT THE MERITS OF THE COMPLAINT:

In order to facilitate that complaints are dealt with in a structured manner the committees rely to a large extent on the format and principles that have crystallised out of the civil practice and procedure in the High Courts of South Africa.

The Institute requires that all complaints must be made:

a) Under oath.

b) In writing.

c) In accordance with the guidelines set down by the disciplinary structures of the Institute from time to time.

For more information on how to draft an affidavit please refer to the document ‘Suggestions, Tips and Hints for Drafting Affidavits’ that is available for download.

Complaints shall comply with the following formals requirements:

Please note that complaints that fail to comply with the above criteria will be rejected. For assistance, please refer to the checklist (IPC01B) that is available for download.

1. A complaint shall be printed (or legibly typewritten) in black ink on white A4 paper with a font of 12pt and line spacing of 1.5 or 2. Provision should be made for a left margin of at least 3 cm, and bottom, right and top margins of 2.5 cm.

2. The complaint must be in the form of an affidavit. An affidavit has to be signed in front of a Commissioner of Oaths and conclude with a paragraph along the following lines:

“I hereby certify that the deponent states that he/she understands the content of this affidavit, confirms the content as true and correct and has no objection to taking the oath, the provisions as set out in Government Notice Number R1648 of August 1977, as amended, have been complied with.”

3. As far as it is possible, divide the content of the affidavit into paragraphs (including sub-paragraphs) which shall be consecutively numbered and shall, as nearly as possible, each contain a distinct averment. Please provide sufficient particularity to enable the opposite party to reply thereto.

4. Where reference is made to external documents, copies of the documents should as far as possible be attached to the affidavit and consecutively identified eg: Annexure “A”, Annexure “B”, etc. Keep in mind that you may be requested to produce the original documents for inspection at a later date.

5. If a document that you refer to is voluminous, please try to assist the Institute as far as possible by indicating in your affidavit to what area of the document you are specifically referring to or relying on eg: “ Annexure A, paragraph 5, on page 6 thereof.”

6. Once your affidavit and its annexures are complete, please number all the pages on the top right hand corner from the first page to the last page (Bates numbering). This will assist us in working with the document and to monitor that essential pages are not inadvertently lost or misfiled during the process.

7. Lastly, and as far as formalities are concerned, please remember to provide us with sufficient contact particulars to enable us to correspond with you. At the very least we require a telephone number, fax number and e-mail address and our preferred method of communication is by way of e-mail.

5. SUBMIT THE COMPLAINT:

The following documents are to be submitted to the Institute:

a. The Referral of Complaint and Undertaking by Complainant.

b. The affidavit setting out the merits of the complaint, duly deposed to.

The complaint may be scanned and submitted to the Institute as a 200DPI, BLACK AND WHITE PDF DOCUMENT to: cvandyk@thesait.org.za. If your complaint is too large for email, you are welcome to split the document into three or four parts by separate email, provided that the parts are clearly identified, e.g. answering affidavit, part 1, etc. Please do not send us your affidavit with each annexure as a separate annexure.

Copies of the complaint can also be delivered to the Pretoria office of the Institute.

 

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.

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