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Warning: Your accountant may resign after reading this press release

by , 19 August 2013
The South African Institute for Business Accountants (SAIBA) has issued an ominous press release. SAIBA warns tax practitioners to 'sharpen their pencils or face the full might of the law'. Read on to find out more....

We're not entirely sure what sharp pencils have to do with it… But there are certainly serious consequences for accountants who don't comply with the Tax Administration Act (TAA).
 
Nicolaas van Wyk, the CEO of SAIBA warns accountants to quit working for bad clients!
 
This in a press statement released last Friday.
 
Here are the most striking points from the SAIBA press release…
 
1) Anyone who ever gives tax advice must register as a tax practitioner with SARS. That includes accountants, bookkeepers, accounting officers, independent reviewers and auditors. So if someone touches your taxes, make sure they're registered.
 
2) If SARS finds accountants who help a business evade taxes, the accountant might face jail time. It's not just the business at stake, it's the accountant's whole career too.
 
3) If your finances are a mess, your accountant might quit. SARS will hold your accountant liable if they file incorrect, incomplete or inconsistent taxes.
 
4) The TAA doesn't protect a "don't ask, don't tell" policy when it comes to accountants dealing with unruly or disorganised clients. An accountant should try to get clients to be tax compliant, or resign as the client's tax practitioner.
 
Van Wyk warns against an emotional attachment to clients. Filing non-compliant taxes for a friend might land the accountant with a criminal record.

Bottom line: Don't just shove a mess of financial information onto your accountant and leave them to figure it out. Most would rather resign than risk their whole career. It's up to you to make sure your company's finances are clear, complete and organised.

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