Do you know the four types of audits SARS can perform on your business? Make sure you know what they are so you can prepare for any of them

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 29 Dec. 2014

Tags: sars, sars audit, audit, types of sars audits, desk audit, refund audit, field audit, integrated audit

SARS has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.

At first, there were allegations that it’s been running a rogue intelligence unit. After a probe into this unit, SARS Commissioner, Tom Moyane suspended two top SARS officials.

But the Labour Court ordered SARS to reinstate them.

As you watch the infighting, don’t for a second think SARS has lost its teeth.
It’s still a powerful organisation.

In fact, it’s so powerful it has a right to conduct not one or two but four types of audits on your company. It’s important you know about each audit type so you can prepare and not get in SARS’ way of doing its job.

Take a look at the four types of audits below…

Here are the four types of audits SARS can perform on your business

1. Desk audit
SARS performs this audit at its offices. The auditor sits and verifies your tax returns, annual financial statements and other supporting documents you’ve submitted.
SARS has the right to ask you for more information once the desk audit is complete.
2. Refund audit
A refund audit is a desk audit that comes about when SARS gives you a Vat refund.
The auditor will perform this audit to check if the refund is legitimate, that it gave you the correct amount and that it made payment on time, etc.
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3. Field audit

This is an audit of your records and SARS performs it at your premises. It’s usually specific to a certain tax type (e.g. employees’ tax).
4. Integrated audit
Here, a SARS audit team audits all your taxes at the same time.
The team can visit and ask to inspect your Vat, PAYE, income tax etc, records. They can then, for example, check if your Vat and income tax figures match up.

While SARS is big and powerful, it doesn’t mean it can do as it pleases when it comes to audits

You have rights and you MUST enforce them so SARS doesn’t bully you.
To find out what your audit rights are, check out the Practical Tax Loose Leaf Service. The Loose Leaf Service will also give you more details about each audit and guide you on how to prepare.

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