Understanding and Executing the SARS Appeal Procedure

Understanding and Executing the SARS Appeal Procedure
Understanding and Executing the SARS Appeal Procedure. Image by wayhomestudio on Freepik.com

In general, tax law involves planning and dispute resolution advice and representations in respect of the various types of tax, including income tax, value-added tax, capital gains tax, dividends withholding tax, donations tax, international tax and employees’ tax.

Tax law in South Africa is constantly evolving due to bi-annual changes to the legislation and court judgments in relation to the legislation. As a result, individuals and businesses need specialised and ongoing tax advice, especially if any objections or appeals are involved.

 Understanding the SARS Appeal Procedure

According to the SARS website, ‘if you disagree with the outcome of your objection you have the right to appeal against that decision to the tax board or tax court.’

The SARS appeal procedure serves as a formal mechanism for resolving disputes between taxpayers and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) in a fair and transparent manner. It provides a structured process for addressing disagreements regarding tax assessments or penalties.

Key Stages in this process include: 

  1. Notification: Taxpayers receive a tax assessment or penalty notice from SARS. Notice of Objection: Within 30 business days of receiving the notice, taxpayers can submit objections to contest the assessment or penalty.
  2. Review: SARS internally reviews the objections and considers the evidence provided by the taxpayer.
  3. Notice of Appeal: If dissatisfied with SARS’s decision, taxpayers have the right to appeal to either the Tax Board or Tax Court within 30 days.
  4. Hearing: A formal hearing is scheduled by the Tax Board or Tax Court, where both parties present their arguments and evidence.
  5. Judgment: Following the hearing, the Tax Board or Tax Court issues a final judgment, which is binding on both parties.

The Taxpayer also has certain Rights and Responsibilities, as follows:

  1. Right to Appeal: Taxpayers have the right to appeal SARS decisions if they believe they are incorrect or unjust.
  2. Timely Submission: Objections and appeals must be submitted within the specified timelines to ensure they are considered valid.
  3. Providing Evidence: Taxpayers are responsible for providing relevant evidence to support their objections or appeals.
  4. Participation: Taxpayers have the opportunity to participate in hearings and present their case before the Tax Board or Tax Court.
  5. Compliance: Taxpayers must comply with the rulings issued by the Tax Board or Tax Court following the conclusion of the appeal process.

Understanding the SARS appeal procedure is essential for taxpayers to navigate tax disputes effectively and to ensure their rights are protected throughout the process. Individuals and companies would be well advised to seek expert advice before they embark on a SARS appeal.


Caveat Legal Offerings

Taxpayers are increasingly faced with audits and investigations by SARS. These queries usually lead to SARS issuing additional assessments, necessitating taxpayers to embark on the litigation process, including the submission of letters of objection or appeal, the Alternate Dispute Resolution process and, in some instances, to proceed to the courts. Our specialists are very experienced in this area of tax law, having assisted various clients with the processes outlined above, including a matter that proceeded to the Constitutional Court.

At Caveat, we have specialist consultants with legal and accounting tax experience, enabling us to provide a tax service that is both legally and financially sound. Talk to us about your tax queries or appeals. You can find out more, or contact us directly at www.caveatlegal.com