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Tax Practitioner Connect Issue 9 (17 October 2017)

Welcome to the latest edition of Tax Practitioner Connect, the electronic newsletter for tax practitioners that keeps you up to date with the tax matters that affect you.

The deadlines for submitting tax returns during the 2017 Tax Season for individuals is fast approaching. Please take note of the following submission deadlines to avoid incurring penalties for late submissions:

The submission deadlines for the ITR12 depend on the channel used and type of taxpayer:

Channel​Deadline ​​Type of Taxpayer
Manual – post or at SARS branch drop boxes ​​​Closed ​Non-provisional + provisional

eFiling or electronic filing at SARS branch​

24 Nov 2017​Non-provisional
eFiling ​​31 Jan 2018 ​Provisional

 

Extended operating hours for taxpayers

We have extended operating hours on Saturdays between 30 September and 18 November 2017 to better assist taxpayers and improve the efficiency of service provided during Tax Season. The extended hours will be applicable at specific branches to allow taxpayers to submit their income tax returns. The following branches will offer this service during the times as specified:

 

​Region 1​Region 2​Region 3​Region 4
​Emalahleni/Witbank​​Ashlea Gardens​Richardsbay​Bellville
​Mbombela​Rustenburg​East London​Bloemfontein
​Orlando East​Pretoria North​Port Elizabeth​Cape Town
​Vereeniging​Doringkloof​Mitchell’s Plain
​Rissik Street​Polokwane​George
Alberton​​​Paarl
​Edenvale

 

Employers are reminded to submit their Employer Reconciliation Declarations (EMP501) and Employee Income Tax Certificates [IRP5/IT3(a)s] for the six month period 1 March to 31 August 2017 before on 31 October 2017. We encourage employers to submit on time to avoid penalties being levied for late submissions.

Companies required to submit information (in terms of the Base Erosion and profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan adopted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and G20 countries in 2013, are reminded to prepare their relevant information for submission to SARS.

A CbC Report, master file and local file must be submitted no later than 12 months after the last day of the Reporting Fiscal Year of the MNE Group. Notifications pertaining to the entity responsible for filing these reports must be provided to SARS by the same date. The notification must be forwarded, until further notice, to the following email address: [email protected].

The CbC01 form will be available for electronic submission on the SARS eFiling platform using the CbC link.  An electronic platform to upload documents relating to the master file and the local file will be available on the SARS eFiling platform using the CbC link. Please note that the CbC link is in development and will only be available on the eFiling platform on 04 December 2017.

For more detailed information and to learn more about data submissions, please visit our CbC webpage. 

We would like to remind tax practitioners that you can access the Statement of Account (SOA) containing your client’s refund amount and payment date by accessing eFiling. If your client owes SARS, you will be able to access those details on their Notice of Assessment (NOA) on eFiling.

We have recently been experiencing a high volume of tax practitioner queries in our Tax Practitioner Unit and through our Practitioner’s Call Centre. We dealt with 1328 queries within one month concerning Statement of Account (SOA) requests.

We encourage you to make use of eFiling as it would reduce the amount of time you need to allocate to visiting the Tax Practitioner Unit. Please note that our Practitioner’s Call Centre is no longer able to issue the Statement of Account and neither will our branches accept appointments for issuing SOAs due to the volume of requests.

To see where on eFiling to find this information, click here.

The 2017 Tax Indaba held from 11-15 September 2017 at the Sandton Convention Centre provided a robust platform for interaction and discussion between tax professionals from both private and public sector alike. Since its debut in 2011, the event has grown in leaps and bounds over the years as evidenced by the 1800 delegates attending and more than 50 topics covered.

This year also saw the inauguration of the Minister of Finance, Malusi Gigaba, as one of the keynote speakers at this event. In his opening address the Minister emphasised the government’s role in collecting tax fairly and progressively, while demonstrating to taxpayers that their money is used wisely and that efforts are taken to reduce wasteful expenditure. The Minister invited delegates to embrace the opportunity the Tax Indaba offered to participate in meaningful discussion while being educated and informed on the latest tax developments.

In concluding his address the Minister cautioned that the National Treasury, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and SARS are tightening controls to address illicit financial flows and as such signed the Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment Act in June this year. The Minister also reminded delegates to make use of SARS mechanisms such as the regular Voluntary Disclosure Programme (VDP) to disclose information ahead of the automatic exchange of information (AEOI) between 90 participating tax authorities which started in September 2017.

SARS Commissioner, Tom Moyane, emphasised the crucial role revenue generation plays in ensuring the health and stability of our fiscal framework especially at a time where the country is experiencing poor economic growth. The Commissioner articulated SARS’ commitment as an organisation to proactively engage with the Recognised Controlling Bodies (RCBs) to collectively resolve the challenges we face in the tax arena. He added that the practitioner bodies are an essential part of the tax system.

Commissioner Moyane cited the following areas in which significant successes on both global and national fronts were achieved:

  • SARS as one of the early adopters of the OECD’ s Common Reporting Standard began exchanging data from financial institutions with foreign jurisdictions during September 2017
  • SARS has successfully instituted the Small Business Desks where this segment can receive effective and quick service in our branches. These are well utilised by the sector and appear to be achieving their purpose
  • SARS continues to participate in the OECD and UN working groups on transfer pricing and is sharing best practices with other developing economies. We also play an integral role in the working parties of the OECD that continue to work on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) 
  • South Africa, together with 100 other tax jurisdictions, developed and adopted a multilateral instrument that will assist with modifying and implementing tax treaties without the need to renegotiate treaties bilaterally
  • Large multinational companies will be required to file country by country transfer pricing reports with SARS from 31 December 2017.

The 2017 Tax Indaba was characterised by great enthusiasm witnessed in the participation in discussions and the interaction between SARS and tax practitioners. It was a valuable experience for all who attended and testified to SARS commitment to supporting the Recognised Controlling Bodies (RCBs) and be accessible as a tax authority.

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