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Tax Practitioner Connect Issue 23 (6 August 2021)

SARS concerned about increase in complaints against tax practitioners

Chapter 18 of the Tax Administration Act (the Act) provides the legislative framework for:

  • Registration and deregistration of tax practitioners (TPs), and
  • SARS to lodge complaints to tax practitioners’ Recognised Controlling Bodies (RCBs).

In the first six months of this calendar year, 74 complaints (57% of all complaints received in 2020) were lodged with SARS against tax practitioners or unregistered individuals acting as tax practitioners.

In most cases, complaints against practitioners are about:

  • Withholding taxpayers’ eFiling profiles
  • Submitting fraudulent returns
  • Fabricating SARS letters
  • Conduct that is disrespectful when dealing with their clients or SARS officials
  • Charging contingency fees (i.e. taxpayers expected to pay a tax practitioner an agreed percentage of the refund from SARS, or a percentage of the reduced tax liability).

SARS has, to date:

  • Reported 60 tax practitioners to their RCBs for unprofessional conduct, and
  • Deregistered approximately 80 practitioners for continuous tax non-compliance, gross misconduct, and court judgments against the individual tax practitioners.

Although the number of cases may not seem excessive compared to the 24 085 tax practitioners registered with SARS, it is a concern to SARS, as tax practitioners are expected to ensure that the law is correctly applied and to conduct their business in an ethical and professional manner.

Practitioners using the SARS Call Centre

SARS recently conducted research to determine reasons for tax practitioners contacting the SARS Call Centre. It was found that tax practitioners approach the SARS Call Centre for advice on issues rather than using the electronic channels that are available to them.

SARS encourages tax practitioners to familiarise themselves with our online digital platforms and make sure their questions cannot be answered by using available information on the website before contacting the Call Centre. This will enable agents to assist callers within shorter turn-around times and free them up to spend more time assisting taxpayers with complex queries that cannot be readily resolved by using SARS’ digital channels.

Click here for an overview of Digital Channels that are available to assist taxpayers and practitioners.

SARS compiled a list of frequently asked questions, and provides guidance on how to use the electronic channels for simple tax matters in the table below.  

Query Description

Guidelines

Submitting an ITR12 online

On eFiling:
To access your income tax returns, after successful login to eFiling, proceed as follows:

  • Click on “Show All”
  • Then select or capture taxpayer’s details
  • Click on “Returns”
  • Click on “Returns Issued”
  • Click on “Personal Income Tax (ITR12)”
  • Select the appropriate year and click on “Request Return”
  • Once you have selected the required return and it is generated, the Income tax Work Page will be displayed.
  • By clicking on the “My tax return (ITR12)” link you will be presented with an editable declaration for the selected tax period.

On MobiApp:

You need to register for eFiling first before you can submit your return.

  • Access the MobiApp
  • Tap the ‘File My ITR12 return’ icon and login as prompted
  • Tap on ‘Tax Returns’ on the landing page
  • Your standard return form will be displayed
  • Fill in and verify your tax return form
  • Tap on ‘Submit’ on the bottom right corner in order to submit your tax return.

The following links may be used:

How to submit your individual income tax return via eFiling – External Guide

Guide to the SARS MobiApp – External Guide

Assistance with registering tax types on eFiling

To manage tax types on your Organisation portfolio:

  • Log on to eFiling
  • Click on the ellipses (3 dots) menu and then search for the specific taxpayer.
  • Click from the menu on the top.
  • Click from the menu on the left
  • Click from the menu on the left
  • Click from the menu on the left
  • Select the action required then Click on

To manage tax types on your Individual portfolio:

  • Click on
  • Select   from the menu on the left
  • Select and then click on
  • A list of taxes you are registered for will display
  • Select the items that you want to activate/deactivate. Click on
  • A summary of the actions will display. Click on to confirm the action.

 How to register for eFiling and manage your user profile – External Guide

Enquiries on 2021 refunds

The refund amount (if any) and refund payment date can be seen on the ‘Income Tax Statement of Account’ (ITSA).

 

How to register for eFiling services in order to submit tax return for 2021?

You can register for eFiling via the following: 

  • Visit the SARS eFiling website www.sarsefiling.co.za and click on REGISTER; or
  • Download the MobiApp and tap on REGISTER.

Register as a new user on eFiling:

  • Log on to the SARS website. On the top right side of the home page is a list of SARS eFiling options
  • Select
  • The eFiling Register screen will display
  • Complete your personal details and click on
  • Complete your contact and login details and click on
  • If the details entered are successfully matched with the SARS records, you will be presented with the One-Time-Pin (OTP) screen
  • Please enter the OTP that is sent to either your cell phone number or your email address
  • If the time to enter the OTP expires, you can click on . Note: for your security you can only select this option twice
  • If you do not complete the OTP process successfully, you will have to start the registration process again.

For more information on eFiling registration refer to : https://www.sars.gov.za/individuals
how-do-i-register-for-tax/register-for-efiling/

How to update banking details

  • Complete the Registration Amendments and Verification Form (RAV01) on eFiling (excluding Customs and Excise)
  • On the SARS MobiApp, tap on the Profile Management tab
  • You can also update banking details whilst completing the following documents on eFiling:
    • Income Tax Return for Individuals (ITR12)
    • Request for a Transfer Duty Refund. 
    • Via email in exceptional circumstances only.                    
 

New Developments in SARS:

Administrative penalties for PAYE non-compliance

SARS has imposed administrative penalties for PAYE non-compliance specifically for employers who failed to submit the annual Employer Reconciliation Declaration Form (EMP501). The PAYE administrative penalty is calculated in one percent increments over a period of ten months from June 2021 in respect of the reconciliation ending 28/29 February 2021 and for subsequent years.

The imposition, adjustment or cancellation of the PAYE administrative penalty will be communicated to the employer through the Notice of Penalty Assessment (EMP301) and the statement of account (EMPSA) via eFiling and/or the [email protected] communication centre.

Tax Compliance Status (TCS) system enhanced

The Tax Compliance Status (TCS) system has been enhanced to reissue the original PIN number for any subsequent “New PIN” requests in relation to active Foreign Investment Allowance (FIA) and Emigration TCS types.

For more information, see the Guide to the Tax Compliance Status functionality on eFiling.

Enhancements to the management of tax types

SARS advised tax practitioners of envisaged system enhancements to improve the management of tax types in April this year. The following enhancements have since been implemented. The guide on how to register for eFiling and manage your user profile was updated to include the new function on how to Manage Tax Types and Practitioner configuration.

How does the enhanced system work? 

The following changes were implemented on eFiling:

  • Adding taxpayers to a profile (Organisations & Practitioners)
    • Removing multiple capture fields to simplify process
    • Validate captured information to ensure alignment to SARS records
  • Activating and Requesting Tax Types (All products and return types)
    • Registered Representatives will have access to their clients
    • SARS will provide products on register (masked) – user activates selected products
  • Tax type requests can  be reviewed by the taxpayer or their appointed Registered Representative
    • Manage Tax Types on sars.gov.za
    • Authentication layer with One-Time-Pin (cell and email)

Registered Representatives (RR)

A registered representative (RR) is a person who is appointed with full rights to act on behalf of another legal entity (e.g. Companies, Trusts, etc.), often Public Officers, Accounting Officers, or administrators, etc. If a legal entity has more than one registered representative, then one has to be nominated as the official “representative person” with SARS. Remember the registered representative must be registered with SARS.

 The following are regarded as valid ‘representative capacities’:

  • Accounting Officer
  • Liquidator/ Curator
  • Parent/Guardian
  • Main Trustee
  • Main Partner
  • Public Officer
  • Treasurer

Registered representatives must ensure their contact details and eFiling security contact details are completed.  A request for a tax type transfer cannot take place if the registered representative’s correct contact details are not registered on the Registration Amendments and Verification Form (RAV01).  Once registered, the registered representative will be in a position to activate her/himself on eFiling and proceed to transact.

How to confirm a Registered Representative 

If more than one registered representative is recorded/listed for registration at SARS, one person must be nominated as the “official” representative and activated  on the SARS system. The active, registered representative will be displayed with a tick in the box beneath Representative Taxpayer.

The Tax Administration Act stipulates that an Individual/ Company /Trust may only have a single representative listed across taxes. The Registered Representative may however delegate his/her rights, but when interacting with SARS a Power of Attorney reflecting the delegation will be required and recorded as a Once off Mandate.

How to update a Registered Representative

Submit a request to “Register a Representative” using the SARS Online Query System (SOQS) on our digital channels link or by making an appointment to visit a SARS Branch office.

The following supporting documents will be required when requesting the registration of a representative, or to update a representative’s information: 

  • The original and a copy of an identity document (ID)/temporary ID/passport/driver’s licence for the registered representative
  • Selfie (picture of the taxpayer holding their ID and the case number)
  • Copy of proof of residential address of the registered representative
  • Letter of appointment authorising the appointed representative to act as a Public Officer on behalf of the company or minutes of the meeting where the resolution was made that the appointed representative should act as the Public Officer of the company
  • Certificate of Registration of the Company, or Company’s Memorandum of Incorporation (MOI).

When submitting the request and supporting documents via the SARS Online Query System, it may take up to 21 business days to update the registered representative’s information. 

Filing Season Guides published

SARS has published the following guides to make Income Tax Filing easier:

Table of Contents

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