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Are you ready for the 31 May deadline for third party report submissions to SARS?

by , 24 May 2013
Thought you knew all your responsibilities under the Tax Administration Act? You could be mistaken, as new Tax Administration Act regulations that were gazetted last month mean SARS doesn't have to rely on just your business' financial reports and tax returns to check if you're telling the truth about your finances as certain entities now have to submit third party reports. Added to this, reportable irregularities will be considered by auditors! Here's what this means for your business.

The initial deadline to submit third party reports to SARS in terms of Section 26 of the Tax Administration Act is 31 May 2013, so you have a week to get these to SARS.
This mainly affects JSE-listed companies and those that issue bonds, debentures and similar financial instruments on their behalf, as well as medical schemes, estate agents and attorneys, says FSPBusiness.
You have a few more weeks to submit third party information to SARS if it involves medical aid and insurance payments…
Luckily, if your third party submissions concern medical aid and insurance payments, SARS has extended the deadline until 28 June 2013 so that you have enough time to prepare your systems to submit in this new format, says SAICA.
Added to this, estate agents and attorneys have very specific requirements to meet, under the government gazette.
Here's why estate agents and attorneys need to pay attention in particular to SARS new third party submission requirements under the Tax Administration Act…
For example, the Estate Agents Act says all estate agents must be audited, whether they're a company, close corporation or sole proprietor.
Added to this, attorneys' trust accounts must be audited in terms of the Attorneys Act. 
This means that Chartered Accountants acting as auditors for estate agents and attorneys need to check whether the Tax Administration Act's third party return has been submitted.
If not, they have the power to report the matter to the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA), who can raise the issue with SARS.
So SARS WILL find out if you've not submitted your third party information as required by law.
Remember that auditors who then fail to report any reportable irregularities face a fine, imprisonment or both.
Best you make sure all your business' tax affairs are in order, as SARS can also extract information from banks and other third parties you do business with to look for irregularities, says FSPBusiness.
You have a week to get everything in order, so get cracking today!

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