Government Connect Issue 19 (June 2024)

Filing Season 2024 Dates

The dates for the 2024 Filing Season are:

  • Individual taxpayers (non-provisional): 15 July 2024 to 21 October 2024
    • Auto-assessment notices: 1 – 14 July 2024
  • Provisional taxpayers: 15 July 2024 to 20 January 2025
  • Trusts: 16 September 2024 to 20 January 2025

More information will soon be shared on the Filing Season webpage.

Kindly share this information with employees.

SARS Online Query System (SOQS) External Guide

The SARS Online Query System (SOQS) external guide has been updated to reflect the ongoing improvements that have been implemented into the system. Two queries: “Penalty Statement of Account” and “Report SARS Employee Corruption” have now been incorporated into the external guide. See pages 45 and 72 of the guide.

Third Party Data – Changes in SARS Medical Aid Data Reporting

SARS has recognised the challenges faced by taxpayers in submitting medical aid data accurately and on time. To simplify this process and reduce the burden on taxpayers, SARS is making changes on the data that is required from medical aid schemes.

For more information.  please see the Third Party Data Submission Platform webpage.

Visit Your Nearest SARS Branch to Verify Changes to Your Personal Details

If you or your employees receive a message from SARS that unauthorised changes were made to personal details on eFiling, please visit your nearest SARS branch as soon as possible to ensure that the resultant changes are not fraudulent.  Remember to make an appointment​.

Take the following supporting documents with you to the branch:  

  • Valid original or temporary Identification Document (Green ID book / new ID card / Original Passport/ Driver’s Licence) and a certified copy thereof;
  • Original stamped bank statement not more than three months old that confirms the account holder’s legal name, bank name, account number, account type and branch code, where applicable, or where a new bank account was opened in the past 30 days and a bank statement cannot be produced, an original letter from the bank not older than one month on the bank letterhead with the original bank stamp reflecting the date the bank account was opened;
  • Copy/original proof of residential address or completed CRA01 in the case of proof of residential address that is in the name of a third party; and
  • Power of Attorney is required in cases where a registered tax practitioner or representative acts on behalf of a taxpayer.

For enquiries, please call our Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277.

Auto Assessments

In preparation for the 2024 filing season, please familiarise your employees with the way in which the auto assessments work. Information can be found on the following link: How does Auto-Assessment work | South African Revenue Service (sars.gov.za)

Adding or Changing Banking Details

It is important to ensure that SARS has your correct banking details. This ensures that refunds due to you are correctly paid out. Visit the following link to obtain information on how to amend banking details: Adding or Changing Banking Details | South African Revenue Service (sars.gov.za)

This is of relevance to both the government institution and to employees. See the following video: How to Update Banking Details on eFiling (youtube.com)

Use our Digital Channels

There are many channels available to you to meet your tax obligations. Please visit the page per the enclosed link: Use our Digital Channels | South African Revenue Service (sars.gov.za)

This page contains valuable information on the how you can resolve matters pertaining to for example:

  • Submitting supporting documents
  • Submitting a payment allocation
  • Registering a representative
  • Requesting a Tax Compliance Status

Various other functionality is available as can be noted from the page indicated above.

Access to Audit Files

SARS has published a guide that sets out the rights and obligations of taxpayers when SARS requests access to audit files. This can be obtained at:  https://www.sars.gov.za/wp-content/uploads/Ops/Guides/GEN-AU-14-G01-Guide-on-access-to-audit-files-External-guide.pdf

What Happens if I Do Not Agree with a SARS Assessment

The following link provides information on the various options available to taxpayers should they not agree with an assessment or an action taken by SARS. It details the options available and the different forms and channels to be followed by taxpayers.

What if I do not agree? | South African Revenue Service (sars.gov.za)

Tax Directives Software Update for the Two Pot Retirement System 

To facilitate the upcoming two-pot retirement system changes, SARS will be making enhancements to the Tax Directives process. The changes are detailed in IBIR-006 Tax Directives interim Interface Specification Version 6.702. A revised version of the specification will be published once the law is promulgated. SARS will also communicate trade testing dates in due course.

Payment of Contingency Fees for Tax Services Received

Government Institutions are reminded to ensure that where tax services are received from tax practitioners, the cost of these services should be based on the value to be placed on the work and should not be contingency fee based. The following article appeared in the SARS Tax Practitioner Connect Newsletter of October 2023 which can be accessed on the following link: Tax Practitioner Connect Issue 47 (October 2023) | South African Revenue Service (sars.gov.za)

Tax practitioners’ fees for work they undertake on behalf of a client must be proportional to the nature and complexity of the task. In consultation with Recognised Controlling Bodies (RCBs), SARS has updated the criteria for the recognition of controlling bodies and the registration of tax practitioners. These criteria include rules on charging contingency fees. A contingency fee is a fee that a tax practitioner charges a taxpayer based on the percentage of a refund the taxpayer will receive or the percentage of a reduction of the taxpayer’s tax liability. To protect the interests of taxpayers and prevent revenue loss to fiscus, SARS wishes to clarify that:

  • The charging of a contingency fee for completing or correcting tax returns is not an acceptable form of remuneration for tax practitioners.
  • The charging of a contingency fee is acceptable:
    • when there is a dispute between the taxpayer and SARS under Chapter 9 of the TA Act, and
    • when the taxpayer brings an application for SARS to review its decisions under section 9 of the TA Act.

Note:

  • Charging of contingency fees for submission of tax returns has been forbidden since 2013.
  • Charging of contingency fees is not allowed for correcting tax returns from 14 September 2023.

Where contingency fees are allowed, the tax practitioner must enter into a written agreement with his/her client. The agreement should contain sufficient information on:

  • The details of the tax practitioner and the taxpayer,
  • The outcome upon which the contingency fees are based and its percentage,
  • The consequences if the outcome is not achieved, and
  • When the contingency fees are charged.

The agreement should also contain a clause that gives:

  • The taxpayer client has the right to refer the agreement to the relevant RCB for review, and
  • The RCB has the authority to set aside any provision of the agreement or any fees claimable in terms of the agreement if the RCB finds such provision or fees unreasonable or unjust.

 

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