Written By: Schalk WP Pieterse and Willem Lombaard, City Press, 2018-05-29
(Schalk Pieterse, who specialises in tax matters, is a co-founder and director of Port Elizabeth-based Strömbeck Pieterse Attorneys. Willem Lombaard is the managing director of Tax Risk Underwriting Managers, which offers low-cost tax risk insurance products, underwritten by the Hollard Insurance Company, to fund taxpayers’ representation in disputes with Sars.)
We often hear about procedures not being followed correctly by SARS, commonly known as due process. But less often about taxpayers’ successfully contesting a decision made by SARS when there are errors in procedure. The fact is that errors ARE made by SARS which can result in the taxpayer’s re-assessed tax bill being invalidated – in other words, thrown out.
Administrative justice ensures that government interacts fairly and justly with citizens. The rights of an individual are also firmly entrenched in the Constitution. So if the government doesn’t adhere to the legal process in terms of tax collection, your clients should be freed of an obligation to pay the amount, whether the tax return has been re-assessed correctly or not.
Recently in a case before the Tax Court in Port Elizabeth, Tax Attorneys, Dr Daniel N Erasmus and Schalk Pieterse, (co-authors of the article below) acted on behalf of a taxpayer. The case exposed how SARS ignored its own procedural responsibilities as laid out in the Tax Administration Act.
The result was SARS not only had to forgo the receipt of the tax but ran up substantive legal bills. This was because they were in contravention of Section 42 of the Tax Administration Act, in which the commissioner is required to provide the taxpayer with progress reports of the audit and a Letter of Findings. As a result, the taxpayer could not respond to the findings, which meant his/her constitutional rights were contravened.
If this is the first you have heard of the tables being turned, Accountants and Tax Practitioners nationwide say it is far more prevalent than we think.
However, taxpayers generally have neither the resources nor the knowledge to take SARS to court. Disputing an audit is not only extremely costly but also time-consuming.
Read the full news article here
Tussling with administrative injustice?
If your clients find themselves subjected to a similar problem as the precedent set in the Reveals Judgment, Port Elizabeth Tax Court case no IT13726 of 08/02/2018, TaxAssist guarantees to take care of the issue for your clients. Even when there are complications. There is no waiting period to cover the risk. TaxAssist is offering to cover your clients retroactively when they purchase tax insurance cover, even if SARS already has them under the microscope. The normal policy cover will be extended to include protection for their case – without extra costs.
Simply put. Even if their case pre-dates the start of their policy, we will still cover them!
Top tax experts will take on their case – a service covered by the monthly premium, at a fraction of the cost of the services of a top tax practitioner. If they are not currently being audited, the risk insurance will still give them peace of mind. Your clients will also benefit from all the normal policy cover, terms and conditions.
Terms and Conditions:
- This Special Offer is only available for policies starting between 01/06/2018 and 30/11/2018.
- The facts of the case must fall within the ambit of the facts of the Reveals Judgment, Port Elizabeth Tax Court case no IT13726 of 08/02/2018
- The policy must be kept in force for at least the duration of the claim, plus 12 months following the completion of the claim.
- If SARS reverse the assessment and then re-issue a new notice of assessment in relation to the same substantive matter, then no further cover will be provided in terms of that matter. However, all other policy benefits will continue to remain in force as normal under the standard policy terms and conditions.
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