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Don't just accept SARS' decision after you object to an assessment! There's one last thing you can do to fight it

by , 18 December 2014
If SARS assesses your business and comes back with a decision you're not happy with, you can object.

This means SARS has to go back to its assessment and look at all the facts again.

But what do you do if, even after this, SARS still comes back with a decision you're not happy with? Do you just have to accept it at this point?

The good news is you don't. There's one last thing you can do to fight it. You can always appeal a SARS decision...

 

Here's what you can do to appeal a SARS decision

 
If you're not happy with SARS' decision, lodge an appeal. To appeal a SARS decision you must complete the NOA1 form and give it to SARS. Do this within 30 days of SARS disallowing your objection. You can get this form through eFiling or from a SARS branch. 
 
If your appeal includes issues that weren't part of your first objection SARS may ask for supporting documents for these. You only have 15 days to get these to SARS. But, it can extend this period for another 20 days at its discretion if you can prove there are reasonable grounds for it. 
 
On the NOA1 form you can say you're happy to go through the Alternate Dispute Resolution process (ADR). This will save you time and money.
 
Make sure you give your appeal form to SARS within the timeframe or it will simply reject the appeal as well. 
 

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Here's what happens after you submit your application to appeal a SARS decision

 
After you apply, SARS has 30 days after getting your NOA1 form to tell you, in writing, about the Commissioner's opinion on the case. It will also tell you if the case is suitable for ADR or not.
 
SARS then has 15 days to appoint the facilitator for the ADR. This is usually a SARS employee, but not always. Both representatives can present their arguments before the facilitator. He'll then make a recommendation based on your arguments. 
 
After the committee reaches a decision, it will tell you and SARS what it recommends you do within 30 days of the meeting. The only exception is if everyone agrees to an extended period.
 
If you follow the facilitator's recommendations, SARS has 45 days to amend and reissue your assessment. 
 
But you don't have to follow the facilitator's recommendations if you don't agree with them.
 
If you don't reach a settlement through the ADR process, you can take the matter to the Tax Board if:
 
The tax amount is less than R500 000.
 
Or
 
If the tax amount is over R500 000, you and SARS must both agree for the Tax Court to hear the matter; and
There's no objection to the Board to hear the appeal.
 
The Tax Board isn't the furthest up the chain you can go. You can still take the appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal judgments. 
 
To find out more about how to fight a SARS decision, check out the Practical Tax Loose Leaf Service.
 

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