SARS won’t suspend payment on the Vat penalties it gave you? Here’s what to do

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 01 Dec. 2014

Tags: sars, vat penalties, payment suspension

Did you get a Vat assessment from SARS? And now you have to pay huge penalties?

Are you unhappy with the assessment and think SARS made a mistake?

Remember, you can ask SARS to suspend Vat penalties. The Tax Administration Act (TAA) will let you ask for a payment suspension.

Instead of paying the penalties right now, you can ask SARS to suspend this payment and only collect it after it deals with your objection. And only if it finds you actually owe the Vat.

You then send an application asking SARS to suspend payment. But to your surprise, it turns you down.

Now your head is spinning because paying these penalties right now could cripple your business.

Read on to find out what you can do to enforce your rights and save your business from financial ruin.

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Here’s what to do if SARS won’t budge when you ask it to suspend your Vat penalties

SARS likes to think it’s always right. So it’s not surprising that it might not be too keen on the payment suspension process and turn you down.
When it does, you don’t have to sit back and take it.
According to the Practical Vat Loose Leaf Service, our tax laws make it clear SARS must give you reasons for every administrative decision it takes.

So when it turns you down, make sure it gives you reasons for this. You can write back immediately and ask for them.
If you don’t agree with the reasons SARS gives, take the matter to SARS’ head office.
You must give head office details about the assessment and why you think it’s not correct. Also tell them you don’t agree with the reasons you currently have. SARS officials at head office will look at your issue and may reconsider.
What if you don’t get any joy at SARS’ head office?
If the reasons SARS gives aren’t good enough, you can take issue to the High Court for a review.
There have been cases where the courts found SARS didn’t make the right decision when making an assessment.
In this tough economy, it can be very harsh to have to pay Vat penalties beforehand.
So if you strongly feel the Vat assessment is wrong, ask SARS to suspend the payment so you don’t pay the full amount of Vat before your objection. And, if SARS doesn’t want to compromise on penalties, challenge this and save your business from financial ruin.
PS: For more information on how to ask SARS to suspend payment, check out Practical Vat Loose Leaf Service.

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