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The one document that will protect you from a SARS field audit

by , 19 January 2017
A notification from SARS lands in your inbox. You're being audited. And not just any audit. A field audit...

So what now?

Well, ordinarily, you'd have to stop everything you're doing and prepare for your audit.

Look for documents, pull your finance team away from their busy workload, just to make sure you have everything ready for SARS when they pitch up at your door.

But wait... You don't actually have to let SARS in if they don't issue you a 'letter of authorisation'.

Let me explain...

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Save your business from penalties by being an instant audit expert!

With penalties as high as 200%, you can't afford to stay in the dark about the auditing process.

You need to know your rights, your responsibilities and obligations, and you need to know them before it's too late…

Click here to find out your rights…

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Two reasons why SARS will do a field audit. Are you at risk?

To start off, a field audit is an audit of your records, that SARS comes to your offices for.

This isn't a very common audit but SARS will do one if:
  1. You're a dodgy, high-risk taxpayer, and SARS thinks you'll evade tax at all costs; or
  2. If, after a normal audit, SARS isn't happy with their findings, they'll come and inspect your documents at your office.
But, SARS does have to notify you, in writing, of the field audit. This ISN'T the letter of authorisation. That comes later.

Three requirements SARS must meet when they notify you of a field audit
  1. They have to give you at least 10 business days to get all relevant material ready;
  2. The notice must state the place, date, and time of the audit (it must be within normal working hours); and
  3. It must indicate the initial basis and scope of the audit.
If all of this is on your notice of the audit, this is the point at which you must ask for the letter of authorisation. But remember, YOU have to ask for this. SARS won't just give it to you. And you must get it prior to the SARS arriving at your offices.

This is your right and if you don't know your rights, SARS won't just offer it to you.

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How to make yourself invisible to SARS

The key to reducing how much tax you pay is staying off SARS' radar.

SARS has conducted R1.8 million audits. They've added 100s of new tax collectors and auditors to their payroll and each one has his own collection targets to meet. This means two things:

1.    If you're not compliant, your chances of an audit this year have just doubled, and
2.    You will pay more in penalties.

But there are 139 perfectly legal ways for you to make yourself invisible to SARS. Here's how…

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What the letter of authorisation is and what you can do if SARS doesn't give it to you

This tells you upfront who the auditors are that will be coming to your offices. It will have their full names and ID numbers in it as well.

If the auditors arrive at your door for the audit and they aren't the ones listed on the letter of authorisation, or SARS hasn't given you one, you don't have to let them in.

For the A-Z on the letter of authorisation, field audits and how to prepare for your audit, get your copy of the Practical Tax Handbook now.


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