The appointment of a public officer is specifically addressed in the Tax Administration Act and represents the company on behalf of all tax matters. The duties and responsibilities of a public officer should be taken seriously as the public officer will be held personally liable for any tax default.
Section 246 of the Tax Administration Act, 2011(Act no 28 of 2011) state that every company carrying on business or having an office in the Republic must at all-time be represented by an individual residing in the Republic.
The Act further states that the individual representative must be approved by SARS and must be a person who is a senior official of the company. If no senior official resides in the republic, a suitable person may be appointed by the company or by an agent or representative who has authority to appoint such a representative.
The appointed public officer does not need to be a citizen of South Africa however he/she must reside in the Republic.
The public officer must be appointed within one month after the company begins to carry on business or acquires an office in the republic. If the public officer resigns a new public officer must be appointed within 21 business days.
A public officer is responsible for all the acts, matters or things that the public officers company must do under a tax Act, and in the case of default, the public officer is subject to penalties for the company’s default.
These duties include but are not limited to:
- Attending to various tax registrations ;
- Attending to all tax matters of the entity , including submission of all tax type returns
- The timeous payment of tax due to SARS
- Notify SARS of any change of registered particulars
- Attending to de-registrations of all tax types
In conclusion, the appointment of a public officer is specifically prescribed in the Tax Administration Act and he/she represents the company on behalf of all tax matters. The duties and responsibilities of a public officer should therefore be taken seriously as the public officer will be held personally liable for any tax default.
Written by C2M Tax Assurance Director Tracey Jones
C2M Tax Assurance Director