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Four instances when SARS will give you permission to store your accounting records outside of South Africa

by , 02 September 2014
Many business owners think they can store their accounting records wherever they like and without permission from anybody. For example, outside of South Africa because that's more convenient.

This assumption is wrong.

You can't move your company's accounting records to another country without permission from SARS.

SARS is very strict about this. In fact, it'll only allow you to store your accounting records outside of South Africa in these four instances....


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SARS will allow you to store your accounting records outside of South Africa in these four instances
 

A senior SARS official will grant you permission to store your accounting records outside of South Africa if:

#1: You can access the electronic system from your physical address within South Africa for a minimum of five years;

#2: The location of your records doesn't affect your access to them;

#3: There's an international tax agreement for mutual assistance in the administration of taxes in place between you and the country who's storing your records.

According to the Practical Accountancy Loose Leaf Service, the lists of countries that South Africa has agreements with are available on the SARS' website; and

#4: You can supply SARS with an acceptable electronic form of your records within a reasonable period. For example, within the timeframe SARS gives you to produce your accounting records.

Remember, if your computer software and electronic platform has been custom designed for you, you must keep all manuals. These manuals will help SARS understand your method of electronic record keeping. If you don't have these manuals anymore, you must compile a written document that describes your record keeping system.

There you have it. SARS will only give you permission to store your accounting records outside of South Africa in these four instances.

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