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SARS interviews

Friday, 05 October 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: SAIT Technical
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By Michael Stein (Friday Page)

Section 47 of the Tax Administration Act of 2011 provides that a senior SARS official may, by notice, require a person, whether or not he or she is chargeable to tax, to attend in person at the time and place designated in the notice for the purpose of being interviewed by a SARS official concerning the tax affairs of the person.

The interview must be intended to clarify issues of concern to SARS to render further verification or audit unnecessary and not for purposes of a criminal investigation.

The senior SARS official issuing the notice may require the person interviewed to produce relevant material under his or her control during the interview. The relevant material required by SARS must be referred to in the notice with reasonable specificity.

Section47(4) provides that a person may decline to attend an interview, if the distance between the place designated in the notice and the usual place of business or residence of the person exceeds the distance prescribed by the Commissioner by public notice.

The Commissioner has now issued a notice under s47(4) (see GN789 Government Gazette 35733 of 1October 2012). It states that a person, other than a person described in s211(3)(a), (b) and (c) of the Act, may decline to attend an interview if he or she is required to travel more than 200 kilometres between the place designated in the notice and his or her usual place of business or residence and back. The persons described in s 211(3)(a), (b) and (c) are listed companies, companies whose gross receipts or accruals for the ‘preceding year' exceeded R500million and any other companies that form part of a ‘group of companies' that includes a listed company or one whose gross receipts or accruals for the preceding year exceeded R500million. The distance that these companies may be required to travel may not exceed 2500 kilometres.

Most of the provisions of the Act, including s44, commenced on 1 October 2012.



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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