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News & Press: SARS operational & eFiling questions

Tax practitioners can no longer register clients for initial (income tax) registration

Tuesday, 09 December 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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Author: SAIT Technical

Q: We visited a SARS branch this morning in order to register a trust for income tax. We do have a signed power of attorney from the trustee. We tried to submit the documentation the previous week but were sent back with a request for further information. Today we were told that all the documentation is in order but that the rules changed and now the representative tax payer must be present. 

Our clerk returned to the office and we phoned the SARS practitioner call centre to enquire about this new rule. The SARS official confirmed telephonically that for ALL registrations, including VAT, PAYE, Tax, the representative tax payers will have to be present and that this rule became effective approximately a week ago. We have not received any communication in this regard. No CEO of a company, being the representative tax payer, will be willing to sit in a queue for hours at SARS and be sent back a couple of times. 

SARS is making it more and more difficult to be tax compliant.

Can you please assist?

A: We agree that it is becoming more difficult to be tax compliant.

We can confirm, however, that with regards to a taxpayer’s initial registration (i.e. for income tax), SARS has required that the public officer/representative taxpayer/trustee come into the branch for the entity they represent to be registered. Subsequent registrations for taxes such as PAYE and VAT can thereafter be effected via efiling. 

Tax practitioners can no longer do the initial income tax registration at a SARS branch without the representative taxpayer being present. This began around June earlier this year. We even passed on a notice SARS had sent to our members confirming this a few months ago. It was at that time when we began to get a lot of complaints about that new rule.

Please see here for the notice:

I am rather surprised by the SARS official’s incorrect information. This has been their practice for quite a few months already.

You can also click here to see the SARS website for what can or can’t be done by a tax practitioner at a SARS branch.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this query and answer should be construed as constituting tax advice or a tax opinion. An expert should be consulted for advice based on the facts and circumstances of each transaction/case. Even though great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the answer, SAIT do not accept any responsibility for consequences of decisions taken based on this query and answer. It remains your own responsibility to consult the relevant primary resources when taking a decision.



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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