TAA IMPLICATIONS FOR TAX PRACTITIONER REGISTRATION

 

Background to the proposed amendment

 
An amendment is proposed in the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill, 2013 (TAA), which will have implications for the registration of those acting as tax practitioners.
 
The Tax Administration Act requires tax practitioners who provide tax advice or complete returns for payment to be registered with a Recognised Controlling Body and with SARS by 1 July 2013. The Act provides for certain exceptions when persons who provide tax advice or complete returns need not register as a tax practitioner. These exceptions are included under section 240(2) of the Tax Administration Act, and include persons who perform these functions under the direct supervision of a person who is a registered tax practitioner.
 

What is the proposed amendment?

 
The amendment to section 240(2) proposes to replace direct supervision with the concept of acceptance of accountability. This amendment is proposed in clause 68 of the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill, 2013, published for public comment on 5 July 2013. Under the current wording of section 240(2) of the Tax Administration Act, the result of using the concept direct supervision according to the industry is that “intermediate managers” between trainees or articled clerks, for example, and a partner or director must also register as tax practitioners.
In view of the arguable adverse practical implications thereof, the amendment to replace direct supervision with the concept of acceptance of accountability is proposed. This will require the partner or director who is a registered tax practitioner, to accept accountability for the actions of both the intermediate manager and the trainees or articled clerks, for example, for purposes of complaints by taxpayers or SARS to the relevant Recognised Controlling Body. 
 

Immediate implications for tax practitioners

 
As it is not a certainty that Parliament will accept the proposed amendment, SARS will not lay complaints or charges for the period after 1 July 2013 if the amendment is not accepted and a person otherwise required to register as a tax practitioner by 1 July 2013 did not do so in anticipation of the outcome of the proposed legislation, if SARS if satisfied that the failure to register was bona fide and solely for this reason.
 

Contact us

 
Any queries about the registration as a tax practitioner can be directed to SARS Practitioners Contact Centre on 0860 12 12 19.
Last Updated: 08/01/2016 2:53 PM     print this page
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