Advance Tax Rulings (ATR)

The Advance Tax Ruling (ATR) system seeks to promote clarity, consistency and certainty about the interpretation and application of the applicable tax laws.
Clarity and certainty on the Commissioner’s interpretation and application of the tax laws about proposed transactions can be obtained through a binding private ruling (BPR) or a binding class ruling (BCR).

How to apply

The application process starts with the completion and submission of the application forms, which have to be drafted according to a certain format, an example of which can be found below.

All applications for BPRs and BCRs must be filed online on The system can be accessed on the Internet via the SARS website or through the SARS eFiling website  The Advance Tax Rulings website also contains specific instructions in connection with each form to assist in the completion process. The link to Advance Tax Rulings can be accessed after logging in by selecting ‘Services’ and then ‘Other Services’.

Should there be any uncertainty, as to whether an application is valid or if an exclusion would apply, applicants are welcome to email the application documentation for evaluation, prior to payment of the application fee to, [email protected].  Please contact the ATR unit on 012 422 8589 for guidance through the online application process or to answer any questions you may have.

Top Tip:
All applications must be filed through the SARS eFiling system. The accompanying binding ruling application documentation must also be uploaded on the system. There is a file size limit of 10MB. If this is insufficient, please contact the ATR unit for further guidance.

What you need to know about the ATR system​​ ​
InformationDocuments and/or links

​​To apply for an advance tax ruling, you need to be registered as an eFiler on the SARS eFiling system


For the No Rulings List, please refer to Public Notice 748 of 24 June 2016 (below)
The ATR process involves a number of steps, beginning with the submission (filing) of an ATR application on the system and ending with a ruling letter issued by the Advance Tax Rulings unit that will be published by the Commissioner in a sanitised format
​The application for an ATR also involves the payment of fees, which, with other matters, are explained further in the Comprehensive Guide
BPRs and BCRs are issued at the end of the ATR process. These rulings are sanitised or edited before being added to the SARS website to ensure a client’s anonymity
Public Notices

In terms of sections 80(2) and 81(1) of the Tax Administration Act, 2011, the Commissioner may determine the additional considerations in terms of which an application for BPRs and BCRs may be rejected, as well as the application and cost recovery fees therefor, issued under the ATR system.​ ​

Application fees
Applicant CategoryApplication Fee
​Small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs)​​R2 500
​Any other taxpayer​R14 000
Cost recovery fees​ ​


Estimated fee range

Estimation deposit
(20% of higher amount)

Hourly rate
​Standard​R10 000 to R35 000​R7 000​R650
​Involved​R35 000 to R70 000​R14 000​R650
​Complex​R70 000 to R105 000​R21 000​R650
​Urgent applications​Case-by-case​Case-by-case​R1 000
In addition to the above, any direct costs incurred in connection with an application will be recovered. These will, however, be subject to prior written approval being obtained from the applicant.​ ​ ​ ​

How to apply for VAT Rulings

Applications for VAT BCRs and VAT BPRs as provided for in section 41B of the Value-Added Tax Act, 1991. 
Applications must be submitted to SARS by email to [email protected] or by facsimile on +27 86 540 9390.
The application should be marked with either “Application for a VAT Class Ruling” or “Application for a VAT Ruling”.
Provided full and accurate disclosure of facts in connection with any proposed transaction has been made and that the transaction is actually carried out as described in the application, a ruling will be binding on the Commissioner.
Top Tip for VAT Rulings:
Applications for VAT rulings are not submitted via eFiling and there are no costs involved – see the VAT Rulings Process Reference Guide under Legal Counsel Publications – Find a Guide.

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