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9 Steps to File an Objection to Your Tax Assessment

Posted 1 June 2016 under Tax

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You’ve been diligent with your tax obligations. You’ve paid your PAYE each month without fail. You’ve kept all the supporting documents for your deduction claims. You’ve carefully filled out your tax return, making sure you’ve put all the right amounts in all the right places, against all the right codes. (Pssst, if you used TaxTim to help you complete your tax return you wouldn’t have had to worry about all the right places and codes that’s all automated for you!) You file your tax return, somewhat impressed with yourself and, by your calculations, you can look forward to a reasonable tax refund amount. Then you get your assessment notification.

Shock. Horror! It says that SARS has disallowed certain expenditure and what looked to be a handsome tax refund has in fact resulted in a sizable amount payable to SARS. Not what you imagined at all.

If you’ve been through the verification and / or auditing process already, without a favourable result, you may want to consider filing a Notice of Objection at this point.

It should be noted that a Notice of Objection is a last resort action, and should only be filed when you’re positively certain that you qualify for your deduction claims and you feel that SARS has been erroneous in their calculations. If you’re confident that your return is correct and the assessment is incorrect, then proceed to file a Notice of Objection.

How to File a Notice of Objection on SARS eFiling

Step 1

If you’ve already have your ITA34 open, then you can click on ‘Dispute’ on the top section of the document and continue from step 4 above.

Alternatively, login to SARS eFiling, using your login name and password.

Step 2

In the top left hand side of your screen, click on:

  1. Returns
  2. Then Returns History
  3. Then Personal Income Tax ITR12

Step 3

Now look in the middle of your screen and check for the heading that says NOTICE OF ASSESSEMENT.

Click on ‘Dispute’.

Step 4

This will bring up a box titled ‘Request to file a Dispute’.

  1. Click on the period drop down box and select the applicable tax year
  2. Click on the dispute type drop down box and select ‘Notice of Objection’
  3. Click on the ‘Next’ button in the bottom right hand corner of the box

Step 5

This will bring you to a box entitled ‘Dispute Item List (Assessment)’.

Here you’ll have to find the amounts as reflected on your assessment and where you disagree with the amount, you need to put what you think it should be in the ‘Requested Amount’ field next to the applicable row.

Step 6

Complete the reason you think this amount should be different under ‘Reason/Grounds'

Step 7

[Optional] You’ll be given the option to request a condonation. This is a request to be forgiven or pardoned for a tax offence such as claiming an invalid expense (and asking for the penalty to be reversed) or not filing a dispute within the allowed 30 days.

Note: Requesting a Condonation doesn’t automatically equate to penalties being reversed or offences being excused. SARS will review each request and condonations are at their own discretion.

Step 8

Click on ‘Next’ at the bottom of the page and complete your details.

Step 9

Lastly, you’ll need to attach supporting documents for the dispute that shows SARS why you believe the assessed amount is incorrect. Once your objection is received, SARS will review your disputed amount against the supporting documentation provided. It can take up to 60 working days for this process to be completed and your notice of completion to be issued.

Again, it’s wise to remember that SARS is under no obligation to overturn any previous assessment. It’s not a sure fire way to ensure that the assessment is in your favour, but it can help when qualifying documentation has been overlooked.

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