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Get SARS to approve your payment suspension request by following these 12 steps

by , 13 November 2014
Previously, when it came to objections, the rule was, you pay SARS now and argue later.

But that all changed thanks to the Tax Administration Act (TAA). Now, you can argue first and only pay when it's necessary.

This means, if you object to a tax payment, you can apply to suspend this payment. If SARS grants your suspension, it will only collect the tax after it deals with your objection or appeal, and only if it finds you actually owe the tax.

So how do you apply?

Follow these 12 steps...

12 steps to follow to get your payment suspension request approved every time

You must write a letter to SARS when applying for a payment suspension. To ensure SARS approves your request, you must follow these 12 steps:
Step 1: Start your letter with a detailed opening line.
Clearly explain why you're writing the letter (i.e. asking SARS to suspend the tax payment pending an objection and appeal in terms of Section 164(2) of the Tax Administration Act, 2011).
Step 2: Follow with a detailed introduction. Include facts that are important to the case.
Step 3: Describe your compliance history as a taxpayer. Point out how consistently you've submitted returns and paid the tax on time.
Step 4: Detail the amount of tax involved. Tell SARS the amount, what it was for, etc.

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Step 5: Tell SARS you have no intention of hiding your assets or disposing them.
SARS is always worried you'll get rid of your assets during the payment suspension period. Take this fear away by telling it you won't, you just want to resolve the issue.

Step 6: If you can provide security for paying the amount involved, tell SARS about it. If you don't have any security to offer, explain this to SARS.
Step 7: Explain how (if applicable) you'll face financial hardship that you couldn't recover from if SARS forces you to pay the amount immediately.
Step 8: Tell SARS how big the threat of your enterprise being liquidated is (for example, how many employees will lose their jobs, etc.) if it forces you to pay upfront.
Step 9: Explain your perspective on the circumstances that led to the assessment.
Step 10: Continue to explain the facts and give more details.
Step 11: Tell SARS if fraud caused the tax problem.
If there was fraud on the side of your company, explain the circumstances to SARS. For example, if your employee stole the tax and, you didn't know about it, tell SARS what you're doing to prevent something like this from happening again.
Step 12: End the letter by asking SARS to suspend your payment.
Once SARS has received your application, it will review it and inform you of its decision.
The bottom line: The more honestly and clearly you lay out the details of the matter, line upon line, the less reason a senior SARS officer should find to decline your application. So make sure you follow these 12 steps to get SARS to approve your payment suspension request.

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