In business, as in life, it is always better to get all the facts before acting.
Most people do not like SARS. As an accounting practice that deals with SARS regularly, we can understand how this comes about. Having said that, most fears are unfounded. These are disproved by more information and knowledge about the whole process. Basically, it comes down to lack if communication between the parties. Most from the tax payers side, actually.
In terms of communication and over reactions, it is imperative that the tax payer and the tax practitioner hear each other about what the process is. SARS does not request every slip of paper immediately. If they require more information they will request it. If that is still not enough, they will REQUEST more. An example of this process. Tax payer sends all the documents required to complete the tax return to the tax practitioner (TP). The TP completes and submits the return. SARS will either select the return for an audit or not. If not, the return is closed and a letter of completion is sent.
An audit requires the second level of information to be sent. This is purely to verify the contents of the return. Any expenditure is summarized and handed in. NORMALLY, this is enough. SOMETIMES however, SARS requests more information. This is when the TP will send all the slips and invoices to SARS.
If the slips total the amount on the summary and the return, SARS will close the return and a letter of completion is sent.
If there is something amiss, SARS will adjust the assessment accordingly. This is achieved by reducing the refund or increasing the amount payable.
As a TP, we make sure that at each level the required documents are submitted. There is no need to submit everything at once because it wastes time and CAN invite an audit.
Many times, a client receives a phone call or message from SARS and reacts. This reaction involves placing there fear on the TP and possibly even doubting whether the return was done correctly.
This is not the correct reaction. As a TP we are regulated by law on how and what we do for tax clients. Some clients will get the correspondence from SARS before the TP so when that email arrives. Because of this, the TP is In the dark.
In conclusion, get the facts about what is going on from your TP because there is a logical and reasonable explanation for what is going on.
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