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"Why go anywhere else? With SAIBA and SAIT you have everything you need"

Choose between dual membership or become a Licensed Tax practitioner.

SAIBA offers a comprehensive recognition platform for accounting and tax professionals. We have statutory recognition is numerous statutes and regulations which allows our members to offer professional engagements to clients.

The ability to include or provide tax services to clients is a fundamental part of our competitive advantage as a professional body.

Registering with SARS as a tax practitioner

Section 240 of the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act 21 of 2012 requires that every person (except certain groups specifically excluded) that either:

  • Provides advice to another person with respect to the application of a Tax Act or
  • Completes or assists in completing a tax return on behalf of another

must register as a tax practitioner with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and a Recognised Controlling Body (RCB), or a body whose members fall under the jurisdiction of a controlling body.

Only registered tax practitioners are allowed to advise clients on their tax affairs or complete tax returns, for a fee. Accountants that provide these services without being registered as a tax practitioners with SARS, and a controlling body will be guilty of a criminal offense.

Recognised controlling body

SAIBA is in the process of applying for Recognised Controlling Body (RCB) status with SARS. This means SAIBA members will soon be able to directly register with SAIBA to obtain their tax practitioner status with SARS, by registering with SAIBA and applying to be licensed as a tax practitioner with SAIBA.

Registering as a Licensed Tax Practitioner with SAIBA demonstrates that you are:

  • competent and able to provide high quality services,
  • accountable for the work they perform,
  • committed to tax CPD,
  • aware of their role and responsibility to clients, and society.

Dual membership and Licensed Tax Practitioner status

Accounting and tax are two fundamental service lines within the accountancy profession, and require specialist focus and attention to detail.

Aligning our focus on improving the quality of accounting and tax standards means the public is protected from poor service.

  • Pre-2020: The era of dual membership.

SAIBA and SAIT co-operated by way of a mutual recognition MOU allowing SAIBA to be presented as the home of accounting officers and SAIT as the home of tax practitioners.

  • Post-2020: The SAIBA Licenced Tax Practitioner.

The accountancy landscape has significantly changed over the last few years and regulators and other stakeholders now prefer a profession that is equally represented in all relevant forums, including the RCB forum. Once SAIBA has obtained RCB status the co-operation agreement between SAIBA and SAIT will be further enhanced:

Step 1: Accountant’s designation:

Accountants apply to SAIBA directly for one of our 4 designations: BA(SA), CBA(SA), CFO(SA) and BAP(SA)

Step 2: Licensed Tax Practitioner

Designated SAIBA members that also provide tax services to clients will apply to SAIBA to become a Licensed Tax practitioners and pay an additional license fee to obtain tax support services powered by SAIT.

  • Existing dual members:

If you are already a member of SAIBA and SAIT there will be no change and you will continue with dual membership. You do not have to follow the licensed route.

The MOU between the Southern African Institute for Business Accountants (SAIBA) and the South African Institute of Tax Professionals (SAIT) remains in place and enable SAIBA members that have been awarded a SAIBA designation to register with SAIT. Dual membership allows a person to be a member of two professional bodies, SAIBA and SAIT.

The MOU between SAIBA and SAIT provides the following benefits to qualifying members:

  • A 50% discount on the membership fee paid to SAIT, terms and conditions apply

Duties and responsibilities of tax practitioners

SAIBA members that are registered as tax practitioners are required to:

  • Maintain their membership of SAIBA,
  • Obtain the SAIBA designation "Business Accountant in Practice",
  • Ensure that they are a member in good standing by being fully paid up and compliant with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements,
  • Register with SAIT or obtain their tax practitioner license with SAIBA.

Coming soon: Admission criteria for the SAIBA Licensed Tax Practitioner

SAIBA has applied for RCB status with SARS and included in our application the following requirements for attaining the SAIBA Licensed Tax Practitioner status:

  1. Confirmations
    1. you are a member of SAIBA and hold a SAIBA designation;
    2. you are in good standing meaning that you have not been removed by another RCB for serious misconduct; don’t have a criminal record; not convicted of a serious tax offence or deregistered by SARS;
    3. information provided is true and correct, and SAIBA can rely on the information;
    4. provide original documentation.
  2. Consent and authorisation:
    1. SAIBA can disclose your information to SARS;
    2. SAIBA can perform background checks and verify information with 3rd parties;
    3. notify SAIBA of a change in circumstances pertaining to you application.
  3. Acknowledge and agree:
    1. to be subject to a fine for inaccurate and/or false and/or misleading information in your application.
    2. to be bound by SAIBA conditions of membership, codes, rules and regulations;
    3. to commit to CPD.
  4. Pledge and commitment to:
    1. attain and maintain knowledge and skills relevant to the services provided to your clients;
    2. apply reasonable care, skill, and diligence when providing tax services;
    3. ensure that taxation laws are applied correctly and lawfully;
    4. not knowingly obstruct the proper administration of the tax laws;
    5. ensure that you advise your clients of their rights and obligations under the tax laws of South Africa;
    6. exercise due diligence and care in your interactions with SARS on behalf of your clients;
    7. charge fees for work undertaken by you on behalf of your client commensurate with the nature and complexity of the task at hand; and
    8. not to charge a contingency fee for the completion of tax returns and to consider the principles of the Contingency Fees Act, 1997, when agreeing a contingency fee with clients in all other circumstances.

Coming soon

  • Assessment:
    • Prepare for and successfully complete the SAIBA Licensed Tax Practitioner assessment.