Tax practitioners and taxpayer eFiling profiles

January 29th, 2020
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By Nomfundo Jele

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has informed the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) that a trend has been observed of some tax practitioners refusing to release taxpayers’ eFiling profiles when requested to do so. Sars expressed the view that withholding the eFiling profiles of taxpayers is a criminal offence under s 237 of the Tax Administration Act 28 of 2011, which reads:

‘237.   Criminal offences relating to filing return without authority –

A person who –

(a) submits a return or other document to SARS under a forged signature;

(b) uses an electronic or digital signature of another person in an electronic communication to SARS without the person’s consent and authority; or

(c) otherwise submits to SARS a communication on behalf of another person without the person’s consent and authority, is guilty of an offence and, upon conviction, is subject to a fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years.’

Sars requested that tax practitioners refrain from withholding taxpayers’ eFiling profiles after establishing the legitimacy of the request.  Any queries should be directed to the Unprofessional Conduct Regulatory Committee at Sars at: ReportingUnprofessionalConduct@sars.gov.za

Nomfundo Jele, Acting Communications Manager, Law Society of South Africa, nomfundom@lssa.org.za