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What do you do if SARS won't accept your letter after they ask to review your VAT return?

by , 12 May 2015
You've reviewed your VAT returned, checked all the documents, as requested by SARS and couldn't find any errors. You send your letter to SARS, together with all the specific documents.

But if SARS isn't satisfied with your letter, here's what you must do.

When SARS isn't satisfied with your letter, SARS must request what it actually wants from you (Section 46 of the Tax Administration Act).

Here's what this section says:

(1) SARS may, for the purposes of the administration of a tax Act in relation to a taxpayer whether identified by name or otherwise objectively identifiable, require the taxpayer or another person
to, within a reasonable period, submit relevant material (whether orally or in writing) that SARS requires.

(2) A senior SARS official may require relevant material in terms of subsection (1) in respect of taxpayers in an objectively identifiable class of taxpayers.'

(4) A person receiving from SARS a request for relevant material under this section must submit the relevant material to SARS at the place and within the time specified in the request.

(5) If reasonable grounds for an extension are submitted by the person, SARS may extend the period within which the relevant material must be submitted.

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SARS issues TWO MILLION Vat review letters a year

That's the letter that pops up immediately after your submit your Vat returns. The same letter that has seen people around the country wake up to thinned out bank balances.

Now get this: There are only 700 000 vendors registered with SARS…

You do the math.

Every vendor should receive this letter at least once a year.

Here's how to protect your bank account before you do…


(6) Relevant material required by SARS under this section must be referred to in the request with reasonable specificity.' [Subsection (5) amended by section 50(b) of the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act, 2012 (Act No. 21 of 2012)].

So keep in mind that you look at the sub-sections of the Act above, the TAA says SARS must ask you to submit relevant, specific material. It also tells you who can ask for it and what you must do.

The Supreme Court of Appeal found that SARS is under an obligation to clearly state what matters and which documents are in dispute, so the vendor knows what he needs to do. You need to arm yourself with this information to use against SARS if necessary.

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