SARS POWER OF ATTORNEY: WHAT YOUR TAX PRACTITIONER CAN LEGALLY DO ON YOUR BEHALF

TAX ON PENSION FUNDS AND DIVORCES
March 24, 2017
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March 24, 2017

A taxpayer or representative taxpayer must grant a tax practitioner power of attorney before the tax practitioner can legally work on the taxpayer’s tax affairs. A “Special Power of Attorney to Tax Practitioner” (hereafter “power of attorney”) must be completed and signed by the taxpayer or a representative taxpayer on behalf of an entity.

A power of attorney must contain the following minimum information:

a.  Full names and identity number or passport number of the taxpayer or representative taxpayer.

b.  Name of the tax practitioner firm.

c. The name and identity number or passport number of the tax practitioner.

d. An indication of the capacity in which the taxpayer is granting the power of attorney:

  1. Whether the power of attorney is granted by the taxpayer in his or her personal capacity, or
  2. If the power of attorney is granted by a representative taxpayer on behalf of an entity, the entity’s name is required.

 

e. An indication of which of the following tasks the tax practitioner may perform in terms of the power of attorney:

  1. Apply for registration at SARS and obtain a taxpayer reference number for taxes as specified in the power of attorney;
  2. Inform SARS of changes in registered details (except banking details);
  3. Request tax clearance certificates;
  4. Follow up on outstanding tax clearance certificates;
  5. Complete tax returns;
  6. Submit tax returns to SARS;
  7. Communicate with SARS;
  8. Submit relevant material e.g. supporting documents to SARS;
  9. Resolve account or compliance related issues in respect of tax periods specified in the power of attorney;
  10. Lodge an objection against an assessment by SARS;
  11. Pursue an objection against an assessment by SARS;
  12. Lodge an objection against a decision made by SARS;
  13. Pursue an objection against a decision made by SARS;
  14. File an appeal against an assessment by SARS;
  15. Pursue an appeal against an assessment by SARS;
  16. File an appeal against a decision by SARS;
  17. Pursue an appeal against a decision made by SARS;
  18. Apply for deregistration of certain taxes as specified in the power of attorney.

f. Confirmation by the taxpayer or representative taxpayer that tasks that have been delegated to the tax practitioner may be done by a person under the tax practitioner’s direct supervision.

g. Confirmation by the taxpayer that any actions taken by the tax practitioner or a person under the tax practitioner’s direct supervision in terms of the power of attorney, shall be regarded as having been taken by the taxpayer himself/herself.

h. An undertaking by the taxpayer to ratify any actions taken in terms of the power of attorney as set out in the paragraph above.

i. The period for which the power of attorney will be valid.

j. Indication of the place and date on which the power of attorney was signed.

k. Signature of the taxpayer/representative taxpayer.

l. Signature and full names of two witnesses.

Even if the taxpayer or representative taxpayer authorises the tax practitioner to do so, a tax practitioner cannot perform the following actions:

  • Change the banking details of a taxpayer except in certain exceptional circumstances as specified by SARS. Please contact your tax practitioner for more information.
  • Receive money in cash or otherwise on behalf of a taxpayer.

All tax practitioners are required by law to register as such with SARS and a recognised controlling body. Taxpayers can confirm whether a tax practitioner is registered as required by visiting the SARS website.

It is true that the power of attorney required by SARS places an additional burden on taxpayers, representative taxpayers and tax practitioners. However, a well-drafted power of attorney protects all parties involved by formalising each party’s rights, obligations and expectations.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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