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What rights do you and your spouse have when SARS investigates your finances?

by , 08 January 2014
Are you married? If so, you need to know that to do a Capital Reconciliation, SARS must investigate you and your spouse. The big question is: Do you and your spouse have any rights when SARS investigates your finances? Read on to find out...

As mentioned, when you're married, SARS must investigate you and your spouse when doing a Capital Reconciliation.

The good news is, even though you're being investigated you still have rights.

Capital Reconciliation: You and your spouse have the following rights during a SARS investigation

The reality is that whether married in or out of community of property, married people often share certain income, assets and liabilities.

And that's why SARS can't investigate a person without also investigating their spouse.

This can cause difficulties if SARS investigates you, because you might not have access to your spouse's financial information.

SARS may also only have information available for one spouse who for example, isn't required to submit personal statements of assets and liabilities. In this case, SARS first has to get this information from the other spouse or you have to furnish it in your defence.

That said; you have rights!

Spousal Capital Reconciliation rights#1: SARS can't disclose your information to your spouse without your consent

The Income Tax Act offers you this protection in that SARS can't disclose your information without your consent to any other party, including your spouse, says the Practical Tax Loose Leaf Service.

Because husbands and wives are separate taxpayers, SARS must treat them as such. Each spouse separately enjoys the protection under the Act.

But, SARS can disclose your information to any person if it can prove that in so doing it'll enable that person to give it information it requires.

Spousal Capital Reconciliation rights#2: If SARS investigates you, you have a right to privacy

This means it can't disclose your information without your consent unless it can prove disclosure was necessary to get information from that person.

Knowing what your rights are will help ensure you protect yourself when you and your spouse are being investigated by SARS.

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