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Tax practitioners: You have just six weeks to register with one of five SARS-approved controlling bodies, whether you're ALREADY registered or not!

by , 16 May 2013
Tax practitioners who've already registered with one of the five local controlling bodies SARS has approved are sitting smug as the 1 July deadline for registration swiftly approaches. But they shouldn't be so smug, as SARS has announced they can't just sit back - they have to re-register with the controlling bodies, too!

From 1 July 2013, SARS will only recognise five professional tax bodies in terms of an amendment to the 2011 Tax Administration Act (TAA), says Fin24
Register – or re-register – with one of these five SARS-approved controlling bodies…
These five SARS-approved controlling bodies are:
  1. South African Institute of Tax Practitioners (SAIT),
  2. The Institute of Accounting and Commerce (IAC), 
  3. The South African Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA), 
  4. The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), and 
  5. The South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA).
So if you're one of the estimated almost 17,000 tax practitioners who don't yet belong to these controlling bodies, best you make sure you meet the registration requirements.
Here's why you need to make sure you've registered with one of these controlling bodies…
Because ALL tax practitioners – even those currently registered with SARS – have to apply for re-registration as tax practitioners with the five controlling bodies before 1 July or face criminal sanctions if you continue offering advice for a fee or submitting tax returns without it, says FSPBusiness.
The reason? 
SARS has also found that 9.5% of tax practitioners are not tax-compliant in that they are either not registered with SARS or their own tax affairs aren't in order.
You don't have much time to do so, as registering often includes complying with professional examinations first, says Fin24
But it's not just the tax practitioners themselves who need to worry.
Business owners: Make sure your new tax practitioner is registered with a controlling body, too!
If your business has recently replaced your company's bookkeeper, accountant or anyone that deals with your business accounts and tax affairs, make sure they comply as the handover stage between different tax practitioners is one of the main times your business is exposed to tax risks, says The Practical Tax Loose Leaf.
 So make sure your tax practitioner's already registered – and re-registered – with one of the SARS-approved controlling bodies today.

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