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ATR: When should I file my application?

by , 24 December 2013
If there's no tax law in place for the process or transaction you have in mind...Or if you're uncertain about how SARS will treat a transaction for tax purposes, you can apply to SARS for an Advance Tax Ruling (ATR). But, do you know when to file your application for an ATR? Read on to find out...

Don't know when to file your application for an ATR?

If so, the Practical Tax Loose Leaf Service has an explanation for you…

What you need to know about filing an application for an ATR

You must file your application in advance so the Commissioner has enough time to review your application and issue the ruling letter.

Your time frame must take into account the number and complexity of the issues you raise and the complexity of the proposed transaction.

You must file your application 40 days before the date you want to start your transaction or project. But, if you can show extraordinary circumstances about your proposed transaction and can give sound reasons for the delay, you can file your application just 30 days before.

Important: If your application is for the extension of a previously issued ATR ruling period, you must file your extension request at least 60 days before the validity period of that ATR has expired.

Warning: SARS doesn't accept late extension requests if you file them less than five days prior to the expiry of the validity period of the Binding Private Ruling (BPR) issued to you.

When will you get your ATR ruling letter?

How long your ATR ruling letter takes to be issued depends on these four points:

  1. The number and complexity of the issues that you raise;
  2. The complexity of the proposed transaction itself;
  3. Staff availability; and
  4. The number of other applications that are pending when you file.

Please note that applications are generally addressed on a 'first come, first served' basis.

In addition, before you get your ruling, your specialist will send you a substantive review of your application. It outlines the information you've submitted and also clarifies what steps the unit will take to complete your ruling.

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