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Questions On SARS Operational Webinar – 31 October 2013

Monday, 18 November 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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Author: SAIT Technical

1. The Rules gives a taxpayer 30 days from the date of assessment to lodge an objection or if reasons were requested by the taxpayer, within 30 days after the date of:

  • the notice by SARS that adequate reasons have been provided, or
  • the date that reasons were furnished by SARS, as the case may be.

What is the meaning of days according to the rules? Do the rules refer to calendar days or working days? 

Since the rules have not yet been promulgated in terms of section 103 of the Tax Administration Act, SARS still relies on the definition in terms of section 83(23) of the Income Tax Act. Section 83(23) reads as follows:

"... means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday: Provided that the days between 16 December of a year and 15 January of the following year, both inclusive, shall not be taken into account in determining days or the period allowed for complying with any provision in this Part or the rules."

2. How do you ask reasons for an assessment?

There is no prescribed form that must be used for requesting reasons. The written notice must, however, specify the address at which the taxpayer will accept notice and delivery of such reasons and all documents in terms of the proceedings contemplated in Rule 26. The request can be sent via email to the relevant pcc email address or can be dropped off at a SARS branch. Remember that your PR number should also appear on this document if you are making the submission on behalf of your client.

3. Does a taxpayer sign an electronically lodged objection?

Although it is one of the requirements for an objection to be valid, it is not necessary to sign an electronically lodged objection. This is because eFiling submissions are embedded with an electronic signature and is legally equivalent to a signed physical objection. Manually submitted objections would however require a signature.

4. SARS rejected an application for a tax clearance certificate during 2013. The taxpayer however obtained a tax clearance certificate for 2012, despite the fact that nil returns were submitted for 2005 and 2006. What are my remedies?

When the application is declined, the taxpayer will receive a notification of all outstanding matters in writing via post, fax or email. The taxpayer will have the following recourse in the above instance:

1. Enter into a suspension of payment and then apply for the tax clearance certificate.
2. Obtain affidavits that the payments were made.
3. Lodge a complaint with the Tax Ombud.

5. Tax clearance certificate was denied due to the taxpayer making use of SA rather than South Africa in a company’s name. What is the remedy?

The taxpayer should resubmit his application for the tax clearance certificate with the correct details.

6. Easyfile doesn’t load on my computer. What now?

If the tax practitioner is making use of a laptop, then he/she can take the laptop in Pretoria to Ashley Gardens on Mondays and Thursdays for assistance. If you do not have a laptop, you would have to make an appointment. In order to make an appointment you would have to contact the following persons:

Western Cape                                         
Free State and Northern Cape         
Central Gauteng                           

7. How to apply for a suspension of payment?

A request for a deferral of payments where the amount of tax is lower than R50 000 can be deferred to six payments at any SARS branch. A taxpayer MUST physically come in to a SARS branch if the tax debt is below R50 000. Rissik Street (Johannesburg CPD), Pretoria CBD, Ashley gardens (Pretoria East) and Alberton can be used for deferred payment arrangements. All taxpayers are advised to visit the office in which they are registered. All taxpayers registered in the East, should visit the SARS Alberton branch.

If the amount of tax is higher than R50 000, then it is escalated to the Debt Management division which applies certain rules to allow or disallow the request. The Debt Management division will then provide notice of their decision. The specific email address to which such an application must be sent will be provided as soon as SARS has reverted back to the Institute.SARS recently published the following on their website:

What if I can’t pay the full amount now?

  • In order to avoid penalties and interest it is best to file returns and make payments on time.
  • If you are not currently able to pay your tax debt, please contact SARS without delay.
  • In certain circumstances we can reach an agreement with you to defer your tax debt for later payment or for payment by instalments.

You will need to discuss your financial position openly with SARS.

If you require payment arrangements please contact us and we will assist you and provide you with all relevant documentation.

For more information on how to contact us please click here.

Please note the following:

  • SARS has the option to decline the request.
  • Interest will accrue on any unpaid debt.
  • If you don’t adhere to the conditions of the payment arrangement the payment agreement will be terminated and normal collection proceedings will resume.

8. Must an application for a deferral of a tax debt be made to the debt management division or by physically going into the SARS branch if the tax debt is less than R50 000, but the payment period requested by the taxpayer extends over 6 months?

The taxpayer must visit a SARS branch in order to make his application. 

9. Efiling is timing out after five minutes irrespective of the fact that the tax practitioner is active for the whole 5 minutes. What can we do to prevent this?

Currently there is no remedy. There are only preventative measures available to prevent information on the return from being lost - it is advised that the tax practitioner saves every section of the return as soon as it is completed. SARS has also suggested that shortcuts should be avoided and eFiling should be removed as a favourite to minimise the downtime. SARS will publish FAQ in due course which may assist taxpayers and tax practitioners to resolve their eFiling problems. The five minute timeout is in line with international standards.

10. Why is SARS notifying clients that their banking information needs to be updated for the 2013 filing season?

This is a measure taken by SARS in order to prevent fraud. Individual taxpayers have to verify their banking details by completing and submitting a CRA01 together with other information, before SARS would release a refund. There are however exceptional circumstances under which SARS will allow verification of banking details to be done by a person who is not the account holder and who has power of attorney. To view these exceptions, please view the Changing Your Banking Details guide at the following link here: 

11. Why can’t we get a blank NOO or ADR?

A blank ADR can be obtained from a SARS branch. For a NOO, you would have to go into a SARS branch where a SARS official will capture the information which the taxpayer or tax practitioner then needs to approve.

12. PCC mailbox regions

The email addresses for the various regions are as following:

Northern South Africa: Taxpayers residing in Gauteng north (including Centurion and Pretoria), North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, please use:

Central South Africa: Taxpayers residing in Gauteng south (including Midrand, the Greater Johannesburg area, Kempton Park, Boksburg, Vereeniging and Springs), the Free State and Northern Cape, please use:;

Eastern South Africa: Taxpayers residing in KZN and the northern parts of the Eastern Cape (up to and including East London) please use:;

Southern South Africa: Taxpayers residing in the Eastern Cape south of East London and the Western Cape please use:



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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