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Survive a SARS audit with these three tips

by , 17 April 2013
For many companies a SARS audit is generally an unwelcome experience that's dreaded and feared. It instils feelings of uncertainty because you worry about not knowing what SARS will focus on. But this doesn't have to be the case. Read on to discover three tips that'll help you survive a SARS audit unscathed.

Fact: You're not immune to a SARS audit. And that's because SARS regularly conducts audits to detect and deter non-compliant behaviour in companies.

To ensure this isn't a traumatic experience, it's in your benefit to understand what SARS requires from your company. This is the key to ensuring a SARS audit becomes as painless as possible.

Use these three tips to ensure you survive an audit by SARS

  1. Put everything in writing. Request that SARS submits all questions and requests for additional information or documents in writing so you can respond in kind. This will help prevent misunderstanding, and help you document the proceedings and timelines. Remember, 'if the auditor asks for additional documents that weren't requested in the original letter of notification and intent to audit, you have the right to a reasonable time in which to furnish these,' says the Tax Watch Newsletter.
  2. Proactively prevent any misunderstandings. Once your audit has been completed, insist on a pre-assessment meeting with SARS. This is your opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings or errors before the assessment is raised. Keep the letter of findings SARS issues safe. It'll prove valuable should there be a need to draft an objection or appeal the finding.
  3. Your annual statutory audit isn't enough. Don't assume that merely having your financial statements audited annually will reduce your risk of tax compliance failure.

In fact, 'to survive a SARS audit, have regular checks in place that help ensure all your documentation is in order and accessible and that all your calculations are 100% correct,' advises the newsletter.

Putting these tips into practice will take out the any feelings of uncertainty about a SARS audit, but most importantly they'll ensure you survive one unscathed.

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