If SARS conducts a search and seizure on your premises, take these five simple steps to ensure you have control over the situation

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 29 Oct. 2014

Tags: sars, sars search and seizure, search and seizure, taa, tax admin act

Having SARS conduct a search and seizure on your premises can be terrifying.

Can you imagine a group of officials entering your premises unannounced, searching them and taking any documents or storage devices they think contain relevant information?

Scary stuff.

The good news is, there are ways to take control if you’re being searched by

How do you do this?

Perform these five simple steps to ensure you have control over the situation when it comes to a SARS search and seizure.

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To ensure you have control over the situation, take these five steps when it comes to a SARS search and seizure

Step 1
Inspect the search and seizure warrant and ensure it has the following information:
  • What the alleged reason (failure to comply with the act or offence) for the warrant is;
  • The details of the premises to be searched (your address); and
  • The fact that the material to support the above will be found on these premises.
Step 2
Check the SARS officials’ ID cards.
According to the Practical Tax Loose Leaf Service, these ID cards are a requirement of the Tax Admin Act (TAA). If you doubt the officials are really from SARS, phone SARS to verify.
Step 3
Call for legal assistance immediately. You can’t refuse or obstruct SARS officials, but you may seek legal assistance (Section 61 of the Tax Admin Act.)
Step 4

Make a list of all documents SARS takes.
Step 5
If you’re running your business from home, make sure SARS officials only search the part of your property that you use for business purposes.
Note: Officials can only search the rest of your property if you give them written consent.
The bottom line: A search and seizure can be terrifying, but you can gain control over the situation if you take these five steps.
PS. Find out how to take the hassle out of tax, audit-proof your business and make the Receiver your friend!

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