How long does it take to process a manual assessment?

Is it true that a manual 2007 assessment can take upto 12 months to process. I am waiting for my refund from my 2012 assessment but will not get it until they assess 2007.
I have been overseas for 5 years and the accountant failed to submit my returns resulting in penalties. I currently owe R7500 and have a credit for my 2012 assessment. Will not get this until they assess the 2007 return. Please can you confirm the time it will take to process this. Can I pay the penalty in the interim to get a refund and then wait for the assessment for 2007? Thanks

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TaxTim TaxTim says:
13 November 2012 at 21:12

Unfortunately SARS will only release the "balance" after all assessments have been submitted and gone through the verification stage. It is true that old assessments can take that long and it wouldn't help to pay the penalty as SARS would want to finalise everything.

I wish I had a better answer for you, but I must say you need to try recover those penalties from your accountant and I apologise on behalf of other accountants for that terrible service.

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