You should never simply accept an assessment from SARS, because they can be wrong!
If you're very unhappy with an assessment from SARS, lodge an objection!
But what if they go ahead and reject your objection? What now?
Well then, if SARS rejects your objection, you can lodge an appeal, after which you can resolve your dispute with these 3 avenues:
Avenue#1: Alternative Dispute Resolution
This is an alternative to the traditional legal route, and can be considered a very cost-effective way to resolve your dispute, because litigation
can more often than not become very costly and time-consuming.
Here, SARS appoints a facilitator to mediate the process.
You meet with SARS, and the facilitator, informally, where you'll state your case with proof of your arguments. If you reach a resolution, SARS will give out a revised assessment.
But if you don't settle your dispute, then you can still appeal to the next 2 avenues…
Avenue#2: The Tax Board
If you're disputing less than R500 000, you can take your case to the tax board.
This is a formal tribunal in which, unlike the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process, there's more structure, with a chairperson, who's an advocate or attorney, judging your case.
But is still less formal than the next avenue because the chairperson decides on how to conduct matters.
NOTE: There's a 60-day waiting period for a Tax Board decision.
If you're not happy with the decision of the Tax Board, then you can go the next avenue…
Avenue#3: The Tax Court
A judge, or acting judge, of the High Court will hear the case here.
She'll have an accountant and a representative of the commercial business community help him reach his judgment.
Here, you must follow court rules, including how you present your evidence.
NOTE: If you're unhappy with the Tax Court's decision, then you can appeal to the High Court or even the Supreme Court of Appeal.