2016 Dispute Resolution – 11 August 2016

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Overview

Tax practitioners plays an integral part in dealing with disputes between SARS and taxpayers. The tax system has become increasingly complex and, at the same time, so has the dispute resolution process.

Considering the win-lose ratio of SARS in the Courts, SARS appears to win more and there is good business case for an even more litigious approach by SARS to ensure compliance with the various tax laws. This obviously means SARS could utilise the legal process to optimise the tax collection process even more than they currently are, achieving the balance between optimal tax collection whilst being respectful to taxpayer’s rights.

From a tax practice management perspective, the modern practitioner must bring its A-game to any dispute resolution process. This is key to resolving tax disputes before reaching litigation, critical to professionally advising clients on when to concede or further engage SARS, or just to manage the risks of clients later claiming that tax practitioner mistakes have caused them financial losses. The tax laws and procedures are heavily weighed in favour of SARS, including where SARS missed deadlines being of no consequence but taxpayer missed deadlines can result in outright loss, regardless of the merits of a matter. Therefore, optimal dispute resolution requires not only good technical knowledge and systems but, perhaps most importantly, excellent tactics. We have requested a dispute resolution expert to hold a practical session, sharing some of the best practices from the perspective of practitioners dealing with SARS on a daily basis.

Course Content

What is subject to objection and appeal and what not, including how and where PAJA fits into tax related disputes;

Assessments and prescription;

Asking for reasons for an assessment:

  • The importance of reasons;
  • Procedure to follow when requesting reasons;
  • Dealing with the quality of reasons received; and
  • Reasons under PAJA vs reasons under TAA;

Requesting suspension of payment under section 164 of PAJA:

  • Importance of requesting suspension of payment; and
  • Procedure to follow when requesting suspension of payment;

The Objection:

  • Procedure:
    • Submission channels and deadlines; and
    • Power of attorney;
  • Importance of the grounds for objection;
  • Drafting the grounds (including practical examples); and
  • Onus of proof;

Feedback on Objection:

  • How to deal with the “Invalid objection
  • Requests from SARS for further information
  • Objection allowed and prescription under 99(1)(e) of the TAA

Appeal:

  • Drafting the Grounds for appeal;
  • ADR: Procedure and rules;
  • Tax Board: Procedure and rules (condensed)
  • Tax Court: Procedure and rules (condensed)

Presenter

Nico-TheronNico Theron

MTP(SA), BCom Law (cum laude), BCom Honours Taxation, MCom Taxation (SA and International Tax)

Nico, previously from PKF/Grant Thornton, holds the degrees, BCom Law (cum laude), BCom Honours Taxation and MCom Taxation (SA and International Tax) and is also a registered Master Tax Practitioner with SAIT. Nico specialises in corporate income tax, value added tax and employees’ taxes, more specifically in the context of tax dispute resolution and ruling applications

 

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