Tax practitioners have seen an increase in SARS audits and reviews. This is especially prevalent when a refund is expected. As soon as a taxpayer is audited, we are requested to submit all the relevant supporting documents. As soon as SARS has reviewed the documents a completion letter is issued. In the past, the taxpayer would then receive his or her refund within a couple of days. Lately this is not happening. When we contact SARS we are told that a “special stopper” have been placed on the account and that the taxpayer must personally re-submit all the supporting documents at a SARS branch as well as all their FICA documents and bank details. The impression is created that SARS is using red tape in order to hold back refunds. The various professional bodies are engaging with SARS Head Office in order to resolve the issue.
SARS has also appointed three debt collection agencies, Credit Solutions, NDS Credit Management and Lekgotla Trifecta Capital Consortium for an initial period of thirty six months in order to collect taxes older than four years. They have access to the SARS database. In most cases reported, neither the client nor the tax practitioner were aware of outstanding amounts. If they do contact you please do not hesitate to inform us.
The above has also opened the door for several scams.