You asked SARS to justify an assessment you don’t agree with… What now?

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 29 Jan. 2015

Tags: sars, sars assessment, objection, objecting to a sars assessment, reasons for assessment” request

Great news! If you don’t agree with a SARS assessment, you can ask it to give you reasons on how it did the tax calculation. This is called a “Reasons for assessment” request and it’s one of the steps in SARS’ objection process.

But what happens after you ask SARS to give you reasons for an assessment you don’t agree with?

Read on to find out so you can make sure SARS responds on time. And you can decide the basis of your objection before you object.

First take a look at why you must always ask for reasons instead of going straight for an objection

If you disagree with a SARS assessment, you can lodge an objection using an ADR 1 form. But it’s always a good idea to first submit a “Reasons for assessment” request.

The reasons SARS gives you will help you decide the basis of your objection.
If you’re not 100% sure SARS’ assessment is wrong, chances are, you’ll object on the wrong grounds. The danger with this is SARS could then disallow your objection completely. So play it safe by asking for reasons first.
After your request for reasons, the following will happen…

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The following happens after you ask SARS to give you its reasons behind your assessment

After you send your “Reasons for assessment” request, SARS has 45 days after it receives your letter to give you reasons for the assessment. But, it can extend this period. If it does, enforce your rights and make sure it tells you why.
Asking SARS for reasons forces it to reassess why it did the assessment on your tax affairs in the first place.
This means, if it finds its calculations are indeed wrong, “it will usually correct errors automatically, if the errors are on its side,” says the Practical Tax Loose Leaf Service. It will probably notify you about this.
SARS will also respond to you with reasons if it doesn’t believe its assessment is wrong.
If, after this, you still don’t agree with its assessment, you can then object within 30 days of receiving reasons.
When you do this:
  • Attach the correct supporting documents so SARS can finalise your objection quickly;
  • State your grounds for lodging an objection; and
  • Refer to the specific provisions in the Income Tax Act you’re relying on for your objection.
Check out the Practical Tax Loose Leaf Service to get a sample objection letter.
Knowing what happens after you ask SARS to give you reasons for an assessment will help you decide the basis of your objection.

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