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If SARS infringes on your rights during a search and seizure, there are three ways to lay complaints

by , 14 July 2014
SARS has the power to enter your premises, unannounced, to conduct a search of the premises. And it can seize any relevant documents under a search and seizure warrant. It can do this if, for example, you have outstanding tax debts.

While the Tax Admin Act gives SARS these powers, the taxman has to respect your rights during a search and seizure.

If it doesn't, you can enforce your rights by using these three ways to lay complaints...

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You have rights when it comes to a search and seizures

It's true.

If you're being searched by SARS, you have a right to inspect the search and seizure warrant and ensure the following's included on the warrant:

  • The name of the alleged reason (failure to comply with the act or offence) for the warrant;
  • The details of the premises to be searched; and
  • The fact that the material to support the above will be found on these premises.

You also have a right to check the SARS officials' ID cards to verify they are truly SARS officials and you have a right to make a list of all documents SARS takes.

But what happens when SARS infringes on these rights?

If SARS infringes on your rights during a search and seizure, you can lay a complaint – and these are your three options

The Practical Tax Loose Leaf Service says the good thing about the Tax Admin Act is that it gives you methods for laying complaints.

So, if SARS infringes on your rights, you can lay a complaint through one of the below:

  1. Service Monitoring division at SARS (SSMO);
  2. Tax ombudsman; and
  3. The public protector i.e. Courts.

Protect your rights now that you know the three ways you can use to lay complaints when SARS infringes on your rights during a search and seizure.
 

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