SARS has a right to do these five things when carrying out a search and seizure

43984, 28 Aug. 2014

Tags: search and seizure, tax, sars

SARS is more powerful than you think.
Under the Tax Admin Act (TAA), it has the power to conduct a search and seizure of your premises.
To do this, SARS must get a search warrant from a judge of the High Court. This search warrant sets out the alleged non-compliance or offence, the alleged perpetrator and the premises SARS wants to search and the information it wants.
So when a SARS official comes knocking on your door to do a search and seizure, ask for this warrant.
After he produces it, let him in so he can carry out a search and seizure. When he’s inside your premises, he’ll then have the right to do the following five things…
Five things a SARS official can do in carrying out the search
When carrying out a search and seizure, a SARS official has a right to:
  1. Open or remove anything he suspects contains relevant material;
  1. Seize any relevant material;
  1. Seize and retain a computer or storage device that has relevant material for as long as it’s necessary to copy the material required; and
  1. Make extracts from, or copies of relevant material and ask you questions about the material.
That’s not all.
#5: If the premise listed in the warrant is a vessel, aircraft or vehicle, the official can:
  • Board the vessel, aircraft or vehicle;
  • Search the vessel, aircraft or vehicle or person in the vessel, aircraft or vehicle; and
  • Question the person on board.
Remember, it’s a crime to prevent a SARS official from carrying out his duties. So when he identifies himself and produces a warrant, let him carry out a search and seizure now that you know what his rights are. And if your tax affairs are in order, there’s really nothing to worry about when it comes to a search and seizure.

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