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TAX ADMINISTRATION BILL (TAB) TIGHTENS UP TAX PROVISIONS

SARS recently released the Tax Administration Bill (TAB) which seeks to provide a single body of law of all the administrative provisions of the various tax Acts, including common procedures, rights and remedies. Important changes practitioners need to know about which is contained in this new Bill:

Apart from consolidating and harmonising existing provisions, the TAB seeks to provide a foundation for further modernisation of the administration of the tax Acts. Some examples of the changes are as follows:

  • The introduction of a framework for the single registration of taxpayers for all tax types.
  • The extension of third party information reporting for purposes of, amongst others, the pre-population of returns.
  • The reservation of more serious powers for senior SARS officials only.
  • The extension of SARS's information gathering powers, including interviews at SARS offices and the gathering of information in respect of identified classes of taxpayers
  • The provision of monthly audit reports to a taxpayer undergoing a field audit and notice of final conclusion of the audit, including a letter of findings a taxpayer may respond to before an assessment is issued
  • The separation of audits and criminal investigations by SARS to ensure that the rights of taxpayers who are suspects in a criminal investigation are given effect to.
  • The power to conduct a search and seizure without a warrant if such warrant cannot be obtained in time to prevent the imminent removal or destruction of records.
  • The insertion of a requirement that an assessment that is not issued in accordance with a return be accompanied by a statement on the grounds for the assessment
  • The insertion of a number of provisions to deal with the securing of the collection of taxes that would otherwise be in jeopardy due to the actions of a taxpayer, including the right to issue an assessment in advance of the date it would normally be issued and to seize a taxpayer's assets for up to 24 hours while a court is approached to prevent the dissipation of the assets.
  • The publication of all judgments of the Tax Court in a form that does not reveal the taxpayer's identity, whether marked reportable or not, to ensure that taxpayers and SARS are placed on an equal footing with respect to knowledge of these persuasive judgments
  • The creation of a framework to support the modernisation of SARS's accounting system, within which
    • a single taxpayer account with a "rolling balance" may be created,
    • instalment payment arrangements may be approved,
    • new payment allocation rules may be applied, for example the application of the First-In-First-Out rule, and
    • interest provisions may be aligned across taxes and interest due or payable may be calculated on a compound basis.
  • The replacement of the discretionary system of imposing additional tax of up to 200% to penalise non-compliance with a system imposing penalties based on specific behaviours and factors. The onus to prove the grounds for the imposition of additional tax is placed on SARS
  • The modification of the onus on a taxpayer, whose return reflects a false statement, in a criminal prosecution, so that the taxpayer now only has the onus to show that he or she had reasonable grounds for believing the statement to be true.

Countrywide seminars organized by the South African Institute of Tax practitioners will bring delegates up to date with the above and other salient features in the Bill will take place from the 12th to the 18th October in Durban, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg.  To book contact Dot Robinson on thesait@gnetmail1.co.za

 
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TAX ADMINISTRATION BILL (TAB) TIGHTENS UP TAX PROVISIONS
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FASA ONE DAY TRAINING COURSE FOR POTENTIAL FRANCHISEES

Date: 20th October 2011
Venue : FASA Office, Bruma (Venue subject to change pending delegate bookings)

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