Although an estimated assessment must be reasonable, and SARS bears the onus of proof in proving that the estimated assessment raised is reasonable, the onus of proof shifts to the taxpayer to prove that the relevant income is not taxable or that an expense is deductible.
Therefore, where the taxpayer does not agree with an estimated assessment raised by SARS, the normal avenues of lodging a dispute against SARS is available to the taxpayer. The taxpayer can submit an objection and an appeal where appropriate.
The taxpayer must however, bear in mind that if the taxpayer is unable to submit an accurate return, a senior SARS official may agree in writing with the taxpayer on an amount of tax chargeable and issue an assessment accordingly, and such assessment is not subject to objection or appeal.
It is therefore advisable that taxpayers file their returns timeously and accurately, to avoid SARS raising estimated assessments which may be prejudicial to the taxpayer.
With SARS increasing its collection power to offset a massive budget deficit, they are leaving no stone unturned in pursuit of tax revenue. This approach clearly shows you are dealing with a competent revenue authority.
Our multidisciplinary team of highly qualified tax attorneys and chartered accountants will be able to assist you in successfully lodging a dispute in the event that SARS raises an assessment based on estimates, with which you do not agree. Any information shared with our tax attorneys will be protected by legal privilege.