Extension of objection and condonation periods

The current period for lodging an objection under the Tax Administration Act is 30 business days from the date of assessment. This has been shown to be too short in practice, particularly in complex matters, resulting in a large number of applications for condonation. It is therefore proposed that a longer period for lodging an objection and condonation be considered. Amendments to the dispute resolution rules will also be required to give effect to this proposal, which could result in a change to the rules for failing to comply within the prescribed time periods.

Commercial member to assist presiding officer in tax court

The Tax Administration Act provides that if a tax appeal relates to the business of mining, the commercial member must be a registered engineer with experience in that field, or a sworn appraiser if it involves the valuation of assets. Because other matters of a technical nature may also require a commercial member with expertise in the relevant field, it is proposed that an amendment be considered to include a more generic provision for this purpose.

Understatement penalty provisions

Amendments to the understatement penalty system of the Tax Administration Act to enhance clarity with regard to general anti-avoidance matters will be considered.

Voluntary disclosure programme

A person who is aware of a pending audit or investigation may not apply for voluntary disclosure relief. It is proposed that an amendment be considered to clarify what is meant by pending audit or investigation.

Legal costs recovered by state attorney

Legal costs recovered by the state attorney on behalf of SARS are paid directly to SARS, not to the National Revenue Fund. It is proposed that all legal costs recovered by the state attorney on behalf of SARS be paid to the National Revenue Fund.