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Here's how can you make SARS accept your late objection

by , 25 March 2015
Believe it or not, it is possible to make SARS accept your late objection when it comes to taxes. This is good news for every company and that's why we want to give you the reasons you can use to make SARS revisit its initial decision.

Here are the things SARS considers when it decides to accept a late tax objection

1. Prospect of success on the merits;
2. The reason for the delay; and
3. The period of the delay.

In what follows, we'll provide you with more information on each of these reasons:
1. Prospect of success on the merits

This will come in handy if you have good prospects for success on the merits of your case. If your objection doesn't clearly state the legal grounds on which your objection relies, SARS may reject your application for filing your tax return late.

2. The reason for the delay

Note that you should give the actual reasons for the delay. If you don't, SARS won't be in a position to consider your request. You must support the reason you put forward with documentation where possible.

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Also, bear in mind that SARS may accept your late filing if you can show that the delay was due to circumstances beyond your control.

Acceptable reasons might be if:
• You or your representative was ill;
• You were overseas at the time SARS issued the assessment notice;
• There are postal delays; or
• You have difficulty getting evidence for the objection.

3. The period of the delay

The period of time is something that SARS will also take into consideration. The longer the delay, the stronger your argument should be.

But we have some tips for you!

If you can't formulate the grounds of your objection, and you're aware SARS issued the assessment and it's incorrect, you have the option to request an extension before the initial 30-day period for filing your tax objection expires.

And in case you still don't agree with SARS' final decision , you also have the right to appeal. When you appeal, you can select the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) route, which allows the resolution of the tax dispute outside of the litigation area i.e. court. If you're not happy with the ADR route, you can choose either to appeal at the tax board or tax court.

Note that when you give SARS reasons, you have to be as clear and transparent as possible. The more information you give, the better the prospects of success, provided your reasons are sound.

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