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The TAB and jeopardy assessments

Monday, 25 July 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: SAIT Technical
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by Michael Stein (Taxnet, LexisNexis)

One of the most important events in recent years in the field of taxation is the appearance of the Tax Administration Bill (tab), which radically affects the interface between taxpayers and sars and sars and tax practitioners. The Bill is massive and runs to no fewer than 272 clauses, as well as a schedule with 191 paragraphs. One of the many new concepts introduced by the Bill is that of a ‘jeopardy assessment’. Once the Bill is passed and becomes an Act, which is inevitable, s 94(1) will provide that sars may make a jeopardy assessment in advance of the date on which a return is normally due, if a senior sars official is satisfied that it is required to secure the collection of tax that would otherwise be in jeopardy. It would seem that the usual rights of objection and appeal under the tab would apply to a jeopardy assessment. Section 95 deals with estimated assessments, including jeopardy assessments. It provides, amongst other things, that sars may make a jeopardy assessment based in whole or in part on an estimate if the taxpayer fails to submit a return as required or submits a return or information that is incorrect or inadequate and states that sars must make the estimate based on information readily available to it. Furthermore, if the taxpayer is unable to submit an accurate return, a senior sars official may agree in writing with the taxpayer as to the amount of tax chargeable and issue an assessment accordingly, which assessment is not subject to objection or appeal. Back to what s 94 says. Section 94(2) provides that in addition to any other rights available to a taxpayer, he or she may make a review application to the High Court against a jeopardy assessment made under s 94 on the grounds that its amount is excessive or that the circumstances that justify a jeopardy assessment do not exist.



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