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Is your VAT objection late? Here's how to apply for an extension

by , 04 December 2015
If you disagree with SARS' assessment on your VAT affairs, you have 30 business days from the date of issue of the assessment to lodge your objection. If your objection is late, you can apply for an extension. Here's how...

While the law clearly states that you must lodge your objection within 30 business days after the date of assessment, SARS can extend the 30 business days' deadline.

You must still submit an application for an extension before the deadline expires. Unless:

  • There are reasonable grounds for the delay and you submitted the application within 21 days of the deadline; or
  • The delay is due to exceptional circumstances referred to in the Tax Admin Act (Section 218) or any equally serious circumstance. You must still submit the application within three years of the deadline.

Sounds simple?

Well not quite. You have to qualify for an extension.

Has SARS denied your objection to its assessment?
Give you reasons for the disallowance?
Tell you where you can address your appeal?
Typically, SARS won't do this, because it doesn't want you to win!
But you can fight back.
Here are six steps you can use to lodge your appeal


To qualify for an extension for a late objection, you must prove the following:

The Practical Vat Loose Leaf Service says you must prove that:

  • Reasonable grounds exist for the delay if you want an extension of less than 21 business days; or
  • Exceptional circumstances exist for the delay for an extension of more than 21 business days.

Note: SARS won't extend the objection period if:

  • It's more than three years since the date of assessment or 'decision' subject to objection; or
  • You based your objection on a change in a practice applied on the date of assessment or the 'decision'.

Once you've lodged your objection to SARS' assessment, it'll consider the grounds of your objection. If it agrees, it'll notify you.

But, if SARS disallows your objection, you can lodge an appeal. You can also lodge an appeal if SARS hasn't notified you of its decision within 90 business days.

To make sure your objection meets all the requirements, use this checklist.

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