Tax Law in Action – SARS disallowing taxpayer’s ETI credits

Tax Law in Action – SARS disallowing taxpayer’s ETI credits

We were approached by a taxpayer following SARS’ disallowance of the taxpayer’s ETI credits. There was, however, no formal notice of assessment issued, simply a letter setting out audit findings and several adjustments on the PAYE statement of account to effectively “undo” the ETI claim. We nevertheless successfully argued that the letter itself is an ‘assessment’ as defined and proceeded to lodge an objection.

The objection was disallowed but it was abundantly clear that SARS simply ignored the grounds for objection in arriving at their decision to disallow the objection. The approach adopted in response was to note an appeal subject to finalisation of a section 9 TAA application to review SARS’ decision to disallow the objection. As is the case with many appeals, unfortunately, SARS did not abide by the time frames and did not respond to either the review request or the appeal itself. We subsequently served notice on SARS of the taxpayer’s intention to apply for default judgment in the Tax Court if they fail to remedy their default within 15 days from date of the notice.

The response from SARS came within the 15 day time frame and was a formal and outright concession by SARS to our appeal. No ADR hearing, no National Appeal Committee delays and not litigation. Simply an outright win for the taxpayer.