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Revealed: Three record-keeping systems SARS may ask to look at

by , 24 December 2013
SARS is very strict regarding the way you keep your company records. In fact one wrong move could result in hefty penalties and interest. Luckily, there's a way to ensure you never get it wrong. Read on to discover three record-keeping systems SARS may look at...

'You can't get away with 'feigning ignorance' any longer. Your records must match up to what SARS wants,' cautions the Practical Vat Loose Leaf Service.

What does SARS want when it comes to record-keeping?

SARS approves of these three record-keeping systems

You'll have to make sure the record-keeping systems you maintain are accurate and easy for SARS to access and understand. This includes the following:

#1: The accounting system instruction manuals, system and programme documentation, so the auditors can understand how your systems work;

#2: Accounting charts, access codes, programme documentation and system instruction manuals; and any relevant electronic data, like computer print outs; and

#3: In the case of information that's not in one of the official languages of South Africa, a senior SARS official may ask the person submitting the information to produce a translation in one of the official languages. The translation must:

  • Be produced at a time and at the place specified by SARS; and
  • If required by SARS, be prepared and certified by a sworn and accredited translator or other person approved by the senior SARS official.

Please note that this is just a general guide. You can keep any additional records that support your Vat return claims.

Remember to keep the originals of all the documentation that support your Vat claims for at least five years. This is usually takes the form of the original hard copy invoice you received or the paper print-out if it was emailed to you.

You can also apply to SARS to let you to keep microfilm copies, computer tape records or CDs instead of the original paper-based documents. Remember to keep paper-based records in their original format and mark any photocopies clearly as 'photocopy'.

Now that you know the three record-keeping systems SARS may look, make sure you get it right all the time.

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