Awaiting a SARS refund.
Here’s how to avoid delays
There is a simple way to avoid delayed tax refunds by SARS – don’t give them an excuse
Taxpayers need to be especially vigilant to ensure their tax returns are complete and correct in every detail, as SARS can delay payment or even not pay income tax and VAT refunds.
The tax ombud has investigated a flood of complaints from taxpayers and tax practitioners alike, finding many to be valid. While SARS behaviour is not actually illegal and has been justified by the revenue authority as necessary to reduce fraud in certain circumstances, it certainly has caused frustration for many taxpayers. This narrow band of circumstance is being liberally applied to almost every taxpayer – in PKF Octagon’s experience there’s a 70% to 80% chance that there will be a request for supporting documents and certificates. This process of review consumes 60 to 90 days before releasing the refund of cases.
Therefore, we advise taxpayers to be especially vigilant to remove any excuse SARS may have for delay.
Documentation must be meticulous
- Maintain a rigorous discipline when preparing your documentation for submission. Ensure that all supporting documents would be available on a moment’s notice in the event of a query from SARS.
- Assume the SARS individual reviewing your documents is actively looking for any opportunity to delay the process by querying documents, and therefore to ensure the return is ‘fool proof’
- Have a supporting letter which itemises and details where every single document is in the attached annexure
- Ensure that your documentation is neat and clearly understandable by any level of education