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Know your rights when it comes to a field audit so SARS doesn't bully you

by , 05 August 2014
We've told you a few times about SARS bullying. This happens when it uses its powers in a way that tries to steamroll a taxpayer it audits.

Luckily, you have rights when it comes to tax laws. These rights protect you against SARS bullying because not even it can go above the law.

To help you ensure you protect yourself against SARS bullying, make sure you understand your rights...

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When it comes to SARS field audits, you have five particular rights you must enforce

You have rights when it comes to SARS field audits, ensure you enforce them:
1. SARS must notify you when it selects you for a field audit. If it doesn't do this, the audit is unlawful.
2. It must also inform you of its proposed time for the visit.
3. The SARS officials must give you an authority letter. This proves they have the authorisation to conduct a SARS audit on your company.
4. SARS must confirm all of its arrangements with you in writing even if you discussed them over the phone.
5. SARS can't just show up at your company and insist on doing a field audit. It must give you reasonable notice about the audit and the time it'll visit your company.
The reasonability of the notice period depends on the circumstances. But the Tax Administration Act (TAA) says it must give you a minimum of ten days notice before the audit begins.
Remember SARS can't disrupt the operations of your business and you can submit a formal complaint if it does. And if SARS violates any of these rights, you can take it to court.
You have to know your rights to enforce them so familiarise yourself with the TAA to learn more about your rights when it comes to dealing with SARS. This way, you can ensure it'll never get away with bullying your company.

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