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Request for Reasons

What is Request for Reasons?

Where the taxpayer is aggrieved by an assessment or decision taken by SARS and the grounds provided in the assessment or the decision do not sufficiently enable the taxpayer to understand the basis of the assessment/decision and to formulate an objection, the taxpayer is entitled to request reasons from SARS. 

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 /date of the decision taken.

There are two options:

  • Electronic Request for Reasons for assessments: SARS has an electronic Request for Reasons process via eFiling and the SARS branches for Personal Income Tax (PIT), Company Income Tax (CIT), Value-Added Tax (VAT) and Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE).
  • Manual Request for Reasons for assessments or decisions taken: A manual process for Request for Reasons or decisions taken exists for all other taxes or decisions taken. The taxpayer must submit a letter detailing the request and adhere to the requirements mentioned above. The request must be submitted via post, submitted at a SARS branch or email it to SARS.

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.
  • Decisions – where a decision was taken by SARS.

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 or during verification, 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 items has been submitted, the period within which an objection must be lodged will automatically be extended by the period permitted by the Dispute Resolution Rules.

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