Request for Reasons

What is Request for Reasons?

Where a taxpayer does not understand or is aggrieved by an assessment by SARS, the taxpayer may request reasons for the assessment to enable it to formulate an objection to the assessment or decision.

How should I request reasons?

A request for reasons must:

  • Be made in the prescribed form and manner.
  • Specify the address at which the taxpayer will accept delivery of the reasons; and
  • Be delivered to SARS within 30 business days from the date of assessment or decision. 

There are two options:

Tax Types – CIT, PIT, PAYE and VAT:

An automated process exists on eFiling for the above tax types. A request for reasons must be submitted electronically as follows:

Only specified PIT, CIT and VAT exceptions and trusts may submit requests for reasons by utilising the manual process described below under ‘Tax types: Other’.

For more information on the prescribed manner for the submission of requests for reasons please consult the latest public notice at Public Notices | South African Revenue Service (

Tax types – Other: 

A manual process is prescribed for requests for reasons for specified PIT, CIT and VAT exceptions and trusts. There is no prescribed form for the manual request for reasons process and taxpayers must submit the request in letter format detailing the case number, tax reference number, taxpayer name, year of assessment/tax period and the reasons required from SARS. The manual request for reasons must be submitted electronically:

The manual request for reasons cannot be submitted electronically via eFiling.   

When may I request reasons?

 A Request for Reasons can be submitted for:

  • Assessment items – when an original assessment, verification or audit completed by SARS has resulted in a notice of assessment (e.g., ITA34/VAT217/EMP217);
  • Account items – where a Request for Remission (RFR) for account related items has been finalised with an outcome of either disallowed or partially allowed.

Top tip: Where the Request for Reasons process is used for any other reason than specified above, the Request for Reasons will be declined. 

Where the taxpayer wants to correct an error on an original assessment the Request for Correction (RFC) functionality must be utilised. Any other requests for advice, complaints or follow ups on outstanding refunds must be addressed to the Contact Centre. 

Will the period within which an objection must be lodged be extended?

Once it is confirmed that a valid Request for Reasons for assessment has been submitted, the period within which an objection must be lodged will automatically be extended by the period permitted by the dispute resolutions rules. See ‘When can I lodge an objection?’

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