Who is SARS?
How we do it
We are heedful of the role of taxation in nation-building and therefore deem the tax system as an asset that belongs to the nation. In doing our work, we are guided by the code of conduct and the principles of SARS values of accountability, fairness, honesty, integrity, respect, transparency and trust. SARS encourages compliance with tax and customs law to ensure that everyone pays their fair share. We do so in a manner that does not unduly impede trade, economic growth and development by imposing excessive and unfair administrative burden on taxpayers, traders and businesses and to achieve compliance in the most efficient and cost effective manner.
Our approach to promoting compliance is based on three principles. We must make taxpayers aware of their obligations, make it easy to meet them and act against those who break the law.
Recognised controlling body
SAIBA was awarded the status of Recognised Controlling body (RCB) in terms of Section 240A(2) of the Tax Administration Act on 27 May 2021 by SARS.
This means SAIBA members are able to directly register with SAIBA to obtain their tax practitioner status with SARS.
SAIBA wants to ensure that SAIBA members that also provide tax services to clients, 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.
Our Licensed Tax Practitioner aims to achieve this.
Protecting the public Interest
SAIBA offers a comprehensive recognition platform for accounting and tax professionals. We have statutory recognition in terms of 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.
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 practitioner with SARS, and a controlling body will be guilty of a criminal offense.
Why a tax license is required
Accountants are trusted by society to perform their work competently and to the highest ethical standards.
That is why SAIBA require its designated members to annually commit to:
- an annual practice license (only BAP(SA)), and
- ethical assessment (all designations).
All of these assessments are grounded in the code of conduct, quality control, and engagement standards as issued by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).
In addition, our members that perform tax services are also required to obtain:
- a tax practitioner license
Statement of Standards on Tax
SAIBA’s Statement of Standards on Tax was drafted by independent Subject Matter Experts and approved by SAIBA’s Technical Reference Group. They set forth tax practice standards and best practices that SAIBA considered appropriate for its members performing tax services in South Africa.
SAIBA's Statement of Standards on Tax is intended to complement other standards of tax practice, such as issued by SARS or issued in terms of the Tax Administration Act; and IFAC and SAIBA issued accountancy rules.
The Statement of Standards on Tax is written in as simple and objective a manner as possible. However, by their nature, practice standards provide for an appropriate range of behaviour and need to be interpreted to address a broad range of personal and professional situations.
The Statement of Standards on Tax recognizes this need by, in some sections, providing relatively subjective rules and by leaving certain terms undefined. These terms are generally rooted in tax concepts and, therefore, should be readily understood by tax practitioners working within the South African context.
Accordingly, enforcement of the Statement of Standards on Tax will be undertaken on a case-by-case basis. Members are however expected to use their best effort comply with them.
- BA(SA), Licensed Tax Practitioner: Compiler
- BAP(SA), Licensed Tax Practitioner: Advisor
- BAP(SA), Licensed Tax Practitioner: Master
Click here to view SAIBA Tax License information.