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News & Press: SARS operational & eFiling questions

Can SARS request supporting documents over the phone?

Tuesday, 30 June 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: SAIT Technical
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Author: SAIT Technical

Q: I would just like to enquire whether SARS has entered into any form of agreement with SAIT (and/or other professional bodies) to not request relevant information telephonically.  We are in possession of a letter stating the reason for an additional assessment as our failure to provide information in response to a telephonic request.  (We did in fact respond in writing, requesting them to specify the information required as the telephonic request was very vague. We did not receive a response to this letter.)

A: There isn’t an agreement, even though we’ve requested one. This is a sore subject for tax practitioners and we have discussed it with SARS, together with the other controlling bodies, at the regional stakeholder meetings.

According to SARS, when a phone call is made by one of their consultants requesting supporting documentation, it is really a courtesy call to remind the person that they haven’t submitted the documents. The phone call will usually be made after the taxpayer has already been requested to submit the supporting documents through eFiling. Technically, they shouldn’t even be calling a taxpayer who doesn’t submit the documents as requested by them through efiling. 

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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