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I've raised a dispute: Do I need to pay?

Many disgruntled taxpayers are receiving SMS’s from SARS who threaten legal action if they don’t pay their outstanding tax debt.

However, these same taxpayers raised a dispute/lodged an objection because they didn’t agree with the SARS assessment and are still waiting for the dispute to be resolved.

This can take up to 60 working days and in many cases, even longer. In fact if the dispute was raised at the end of last year, SARS will take even longer because the period 15 December to 15 Janaury is excluded from the 60 day review period!

This can all be prevented if you select the “Suspension of Payment” option when you lodge your dispute.

You need to give a reason why your payment should be suspended and then upload supporting documents. If successful, the SARS system should be updated so that debt collection procedures are put on hold, pending the dispute outcome.

Remember as well that just because you have lodged a Suspension Request, this does not mean the payment is automatically suspended. You need to wait for a letter from SARS confirming they have accepted your reasons.

However, we are noticing the following where taxpayers have followed the correct procedure to raise disputes and suspend payment:

- Disputes are taking longer than 60 days to resolve
- SARS are sending SMSs threatening legal action
- Underpayment penalties and interest accruing

What can Taxpayers do?

Tax practitioners can lodge complaints with industry bodies (SAIT, SAICA, Saipa)
Taxpayers to lodge complaints with Tax Ombud.

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