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Supreme Court of Appeal rules on proper procedure to be followed for Tax Disputes

Wednesday, 03 June 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Shepstone & Wylie
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Author: Shepstone & Wylie

On 27 May 2015 the Supreme Court of Appeal (the "SCA") delivered judgment in the case of Medox Limited v The Commissioner for SARS (20059/2014) [2015] ZASCA 74 (27 May 2015).

The taxpayer was aggrieved with assessments for the 1998 to 2010 years of assessment and chose to proceed straight to court for a declaratory order rather than follow the procedure laid down in the Income Tax Act, No. 58 of 1962 ("the Income Tax Act").

Fourie AJA, who handed down a unanimous judgment, dismissed the appeal holding that the taxpayer erred in proceeding straight to court.  The correct procedure was set out in the Income Tax Act and the taxpayer should have followed it by lodging an objection and then lodging an appeal in the Tax Court if the Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service had disallowed the objection.

Whilst not relevant for the purposes of the case, the procedures in the Income Tax Act have been repealed are now contained in the Tax Administration Act, No. 28 of 2011 which commenced on 1 October 2012.  This case is therefore authority that before a taxpayer can seek relief in a court, it must follow the objection and appeal process laid out in the relevant legislation.

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