What’s New at SARS

Tender – Extension of closing date

7 December 2023 – RFP22/2023: Appointment of a panel of service providers for the supply, maintenance and support of non-intrusive inspection scanning and detection solutions.

The closing date for the tender has been extended to 10 January 2024.

Tax Directives Interface specification version 6.601

7 December 2023 – SARS will implement enhancements to the Tax Directives process as indicated in the IBIR-006 Tax Directives Interface Specification Version 6.601. The trade testing dates are still to be confirmed and the software is scheduled to be implemented by end March 2024.

Stakeholders will receive communication with regards to the exact dates for trade testing and the implementation date closer to the time.

Please note that the enhancements planned relating to IBR-006 Tax Directives Interface Specification Version 6.601, does not include any changes in relation to the Two Pot System. The changes in respect of the Two Pot System will be communicated in due time.

Please follow these steps to submit test files:

Step 1: Before testing can commence, you will need to email 10 taxpayer reference numbers to [email protected] to ensure the numbers are active. In the email subject line, use “Tax reference numbers for Trade Testing”. A maximum of 10 taxpayer reference numbers will be allowed.

Step 2: You will be notified via the same email address to confirm when testing may commence.

For trade testing queries please email [email protected].

For more info, see the Tax Directives webpage.

Customs & Excise – updated Appeal process

7 December 2023: The Excise appeal documents were merged with the Customs Appeal documents and the Terms of Reference were updated to align with the Rules amendment that is effective from 24 November 2023 regarding Internal Administrative Appeals lodged in terms of Sections (77A to H).

The updated document is the SC-CA-02 – Internal Administrative Appeals – External Policy.

eFiling upgrade on 8 December 2023

7 December 2023 – Achieving our Vision 2024 of a smart, modern SARS with unquestionable integrity that is trusted and admired is of paramount importance. Pivotal to the delivery of our vision are our digital platforms and technology infrastructure. To provide clarity and certainty, make it easy for taxpayers and traders to comply with their obligations and building public trust and confidence, our technology assets must demonstrate the highest levels of availability, robustness and security.

In accordance with our Vision and Strategic Objectives, which include modernising our systems to provide Digital and Streamlined online services, we are hard at work ensuring that our digital platforms and technology infrastructure are available, robust and secure, by performing regular upgrades, enhancements and maintenance.

Considering the above, SARS Digital platform upgrades are scheduled for Friday, 8 December 2023 from 18:00 to 21:00.

During this time, you may experience intermittent service interruption on our Tax and Customs Digital Platform.

Stakeholders are therefore urged to submit priority Goods Declarations (bills of entry) and Road Manifest by Friday, 8 December 2023 @ 17:00.

Key collection dates for 2024

6 December 2023 – The SARS key collection dates for 2024 were published, see the Important Dates and follow the top-left arrows.

Legal Counsel Publications – Average Exchange Rates

6 December 2023 – Income Tax Act, 1962: Average Exchange Rates

  • Table A – A list of the average exchange rates of selected currencies for a year of assessment as from December 2003
  • Table B – A list of the monthly average exchange rates to assist a person whose year of assessment is shorter or longer than 12 months

Legal Counsel – Secondary Legislation – Rule Amendments 2023

1 December 2023  – Customs and Excise Act, 1964: Rule amendment notices R4134 and R4135, as published in Government Gazette 49792 of 1 December 2023, relate to the amendments to –

  • rules under sections 64E and 120 – Accreditation (DAR254) (with effect from 8 December) (R4135); and
  • rules under section 120 – Rules numbered 120.13 – Advance import payments (DAR253) (R4134).

Customs Registration, Licensing and Accreditation: Appeal process

1 December 2023 – Licensing and Registration appeal matters are heard by the National Appeals Committee.

The appeal will be considered and decided by the Commissioner, or an authorised officer acting under a delegation from, or under the control and direction of, the Commissioner, or by an appeal committee authorised by rule to consider such an appeal.

What is the purpose of the appeal process?

The purpose of this process is to submit an internal administrative appeal against a decision relating to customs or excise matters in terms of the provisions of sections 77A – H of the Customs and Excise Act 91, 1964.

What steps must I take?

You need to fill in and submit the DA 51 – Internal Administrative Appeal – External form. Where the space provided is insufficient, please use an extension page and attach it, as well as any other correspondence and documents that may be applicable, to this form.

This appeal must be delivered to the office from which the notice of the decision was issued within the period specified by rule.

Proof of authority to act on behalf of an appellant must be attached where applicable.

To follow the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964, see the DA 52 – Application for ADR for Customs – External form.

For more information, see the SC-CA-02 – Internal Administrative Appeal – External Policy.

Customs Registration, Licensing and Accreditation: Required supporting documents for applications

1 December 2023 – Which supporting documents are required to be uploaded to Registration, Licensing and Accreditation (RLA) applications?

The following documents are required as proof of address or contact details:

  • A municipal account, fixed line telephone or cellular phone account or any other monthly account or statement (for example, if appropriate in the circumstances, a co-operative statement for farmers, medical aid statement, mortgage statement, SABC television license documents, eToll account, major retail accounts) issued to the applicant that can confirm physical address of the applicant, if the applicant is located in South Africa.
  • A telephone or cellular phone account issued to the applicant to confirm the applicant’s telephone or cellular phone contact details.
  • If the above documents are not in the name of the applicant a commissioned affidavit is required to support the supplied documents.

For more information, see the Registration, Licensing and Accreditation webpage.

Legal Counsel – Dispute Resolution & Judgments – High Court 2025–2023

1 December 2023 – Customs and Excise Act, 1964

Customs and Excise Act 91 of 1964: Rebate item 670. 04 – “Diesel refund” – application for setting aside determination made by SARS which had been referred in part for the hearing of oral evidence – evidence presented by the user insufficient to justify a finding that the determination whereby refund claims were disallowed should be set aside.

 

 

Latest VAT Connect newsletter is available

1 December 2023 – The latest VAT Connect newsletter, issue 17, is available. The newsletter includes information on legislative amendments, VAT on the importation of goods, securities lending arrangements, the discussion paper on VAT modernisation and VAT rulings.

Legal Counsel – Interpretation and Rulings – Binding General Rulings 61–80

1 December 2023 – Value-Added Tax Act, 1991

SARS Digital platform upgrade on 2 December 2023

1 December 2023 – Achieving our Vision 2024 of a smart, modern SARS with unquestionable integrity that is trusted and admired is of paramount importance. Pivotal to the delivery of our vision are our digital platforms and technology infrastructure. To provide clarity and certainty, make it easy for taxpayers and traders to comply with their obligations and building public trust and confidence, our technology assets must demonstrate the highest levels of availability, robustness and security.

In accordance with our Vision and Strategic Objectives, which include modernising our systems to provide Digital and Streamlined online services, we are hard at work ensuring that our digital platforms and technology infrastructure are available, robust and secure, by performing regular upgrades, enhancements and maintenance.

Considering the above, SARS Digital platform upgrade is scheduled for Saturday morning, 2 December 2023 from 6:00 – 9:00, and late afternoon from 17:00 – 19:00.

During this time, you may experience intermittent service interruption on our eFiling Platform.

Legal Counsel Publications – Find a Guide – Customs and Excise

30 November 2023 – Customs and Excise Act, 1964

 

Media release: Trade Statistics for October 2023

30 November 2023 – South Africa recorded a preliminary trade balance deficit of R12.7 billion in October 2023 attributable to exports of R170.3 billion and imports of R183.0 billion.

See the full Media Release here.

Visit the Trade Statistics webpage.

Customs – SARS Digital platform upgrade on 1 December 2023

30 November 2023 – Achieving our Vision 2024 of a smart, modern SARS with unquestionable integrity that is trusted and admired is of paramount importance. Pivotal to the delivery of our vision are our digital platforms and technology infrastructure. To provide clarity and certainty, make it easy for taxpayers and traders to comply with their obligations and building public trust and confidence, our technology assets must demonstrate the highest levels of availability, robustness and security.

In accordance with our Vision and Strategic Objectives, which include modernising our systems to provide Digital and Streamlined online services, we are hard at work ensuring that our digital platforms and technology infrastructure are available, robust and secure, by performing regular upgrades, enhancements and maintenance.

Considering the above, SARS Digital platform upgrades are scheduled for Friday, 1 December 2023 from 18:00 to 22:00.

Responses (CUSRES messages) to transactions submitted during this time will be delayed, however, arrival and exit management functions are available at land border posts for all released declarations and manifests.

Stakeholders are therefore urged to submit priority Goods Declarations (bills of entry) and Road Manifest by Friday, 1 December 2023 @ 17:00.

Legal Counsel – Dispute Resolution & Judgments – Tax Court 2025–2023

29 November 2023 – Value-Added Tax Act, 1991, and Tax Administration Act, 2011

Whether appellant was entitled to deduct VAT incurred on meals and accommodation provided to its employees as input tax, and whether respondent was entitled to impose an understatement penalty of 10%.

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