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Can SARS demand payment of taxes prior to the due date?

Wednesday, 11 February 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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Author: SAIT Technical

Q: I have submitted a client’s tax return for 2014 on 30 January as it was the last date.   He has a liability of R89k, which according to the assessment is due first date on the 1st of March 2015, the second due date is 30th March 2015.

A week ago he received a final demand for this payment.   When I phoned SARS to query this I was told that the Commissioner has the right to demand payment earlier if he so wishes.   My client needless to say is a little put out by this "threat” as he called it. Can SARS do this?

A: Section 162 and 96 of the Tax Administration Act (TAA) deal with the payment of taxes.

Section 162(1) of the TAA specifically states:

"Tax must be paid by the day and at the place notified by SARS or as specified in a tax Act, and must be paid as a single amount or in terms of an instalment payment agreement under section 167.”

The "day notified by SARS” as referred to in the above provision is usually found in the SARS notice of assessment (ITA34). This is dealt with in section 96(1)(f) of the TAA, where it is stated:

"SARS must issue to the taxpayer assessed a notice of the assessment made by SARS stating the date for paying the amount assessed”

There is however, an exception to this rule, found in section 162(3) of the TAA:

"Despite sections 96 (1) (f) and 167, a senior SARS official may, if there are reasonable grounds to believe that—

(a) A taxpayer will not pay the full amount of tax;

(b) A taxpayer will dissipate the taxpayer’s assets; or

(c) That recovery may become difficult in the future,

Require the taxpayer to—

(i) pay the full amount immediately upon receipt of the notice of assessment or a notice described in section 167 (6) or within the period as the official deems appropriate under the circumstances; or

(ii) Provide such security as the official deems necessary.”

Barring these circumstances, the due date of payment is what appears on the ITA34. 

I would ask SARS what provision of the tax law they are relying upon to compel your client to make payment before the due date appearing on the assessment.

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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