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If you haven't been audited in the last four years... you're next warns ex-head of Vat at SARS

by , 09 March 2015
He not only wrote the Vat law, but also headed up the entire Vat unit at SARS for over 20 years. He taught them everything they know...

And now he's giving you and me the inside scoop!

I'm talking about Peter Franck. And he tells me SARS has financial targets it needs to reach each year. So, it's getting aggressive and will audit you on average every five years. So if you haven't been audited in the last four years... you're next!

And if SARS finds something it doesn't like, it will fine you 200% of all your input tax claims. And SARS will go through all your records, as far back as five years!

Can you afford 200% SARS penalties a year, over five years?

Well, don't find out the hard way! Read on to find out the five steps Peter says you must follow for a successful Vat audit...

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I thought Rachel might have missed something when she insisted we essentially give a free Vat Digital Loose Leaf Service for every print ordered this week. And to be honest: I still think it's a bit of a folly. 
But she's the publisher... and if she's willing to take a chance just to convince you to use the service, well... so be it. 
 
 
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Four steps to a successful Vat audit
 
Except for situations of inspections without notification, make sure of the following:
 
Step #1: Has SARS made an appointment with you?
 
SARS must make an appointment to meet with you. It must contact you at least 10 working days before the intended date of the audit. When it's scheduled the appointment it must tell you the: 
  • Location of the audit;
  • Date;
  • Starting time (during business hours only); and
  • What it wants to look at (scope of audit).

Step #2: Give SARS auditors reasonable assistance. This is how.
 
Get your documents ready. If SARS audits you at your business premises, you're obliged to give reasonable assistance as SARS needs it. Reasonable assistance includes:
  1. Provide appropriate facilities;
  2. Make photocopies;
  3. Answer questions related to the audit;
  4. Give SARS the documents it asks for; and
  5. Don't stop the SARS official from doing his work!

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Step #3: You have to give SARS answers, but you don't have to give it verbal answers 
 
You have to give answers to SARS' questions. But your answers don't need to be verbal. Tell SARS you're willing to answer questions, but it must put the questions in writing. Instruct your staff not to give verbal answers either.  
 
Step #4: Refunds, audits and the 21 business days….
 
If SARS audits you because you claimed a refund, it must refund you within 21 business days! It must also do the audit within those 21 days. If SARS doesn't refund you within the 21 business days, then, on day 22, you write it a letter and claim interest. It must pay! Sound unfair? Well, if you pay one day late… you know what happens…

There you have it! Now you can be prepared when SARS comes to audit you.

P.S. There are times when SARS doesn't have to notify you about an audit… For everything you need to know about how to survive a SARS Vat audit, simply follow this link… 



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