TAX DISPUTES – MORE THAN ONE WAY TO SKIN A CAT
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TAX DISPUTES – MORE THAN ONE WAY TO SKIN A CAT

Taxpayers who are aggrieved by an assessment or decision by SARS have various remedies at their disposal to challenge such assessment or decision. One of those remedies, and perhaps to most well-known remedy, is the remedy of objection and appeal. It often happens though that this remedy is not available for many reasons – too...

TAX DISPUTES: ONUS OF PROOF
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TAX DISPUTES: ONUS OF PROOF

Taxpayers carry the burden of proof in most tax disputes[1]. Most taxpayers know this. Few, however, seem to truly understand it. What does it really mean? How do you go about discharging the onus? Can SARS simply raise an assessment out of thin air and leave the taxpayer to prove them wrong given that taxpayers...

TAX DISPUTES: THE RELEVANCE OF SARS’ PRE-ASSESSMENT OBLIGATIONS
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TAX DISPUTES: THE RELEVANCE OF SARS’ PRE-ASSESSMENT OBLIGATIONS

The Tax Administration Act imposes several obligations on SARS, aimed in part and insofar relevant here, at ensuring that SARS treat taxpayers in a procedurally fair manner as is also required by the Constitution.  These obligations, subject to a few exceptions, include: The obligation to notify taxpayers that it has been selected for audit; The...

UNDERSTATEMENT PENALTIES: SARS’ BURDEN OF PROOF IS IRRELEVANT?
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UNDERSTATEMENT PENALTIES: SARS’ BURDEN OF PROOF IS IRRELEVANT?

In a recent case[1] the Tax Court had to adjudicate on the imposition by SARS of understatement penalties on a taxpayer in consequence of a taxpayer’s failure to timeously declare a capital gain. SARS imposed a penalty of 25%, which is a penalty for failure by the taxpayer to take reasonable care when completing a...

ABUSING TAX COURT PROCESSES WORK?
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ABUSING TAX COURT PROCESSES WORK?

[Durban, 03 March 2021] The full bench of the Western Cape High court recently delivered judgment¹ (Cloete J dissenting) in a favour of a taxpayer who, according to the Tax Court, was simply abusing process. When studying the judgment of the Tax Court, it is difficult to see how the taxpayer’s approach was anything more...

PRESCRIPTION, ASSESSMENTS, SARS’ SUBJECTIVE SATISFACTION AND DISPUTES
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PRESCRIPTION, ASSESSMENTS, SARS’ SUBJECTIVE SATISFACTION AND DISPUTES

150In a recent case[1], a taxpayer tried to defend himself against an assessment raised by SARS after the original assessment prescribed. The gist of the taxpayer’s defence, insofar relevant here, was that SARS was not allowed to have raised the assessment in question because the original assessment had prescribed and that SARS had not objectively...

SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY AMISS WITH THE TAX OBJECTION PROCESS
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SOMETHING IS SERIOUSLY AMISS WITH THE TAX OBJECTION PROCESS

The Office of the Tax Ombud (OTO) recently released its 2020 Systemic Investigation Report in which the OTO published its findings regarding certain investigations the OTO conducted into SARS’s systems. One of the issues investigated was various areas of non-compliance by SARS with the rules that govern objections and appeals. Amongst the various findings by...

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