We have been contacted by many concerned taxpayers who have received SMS’s from SARS demanding urgent settlement of their tax debt in order to avoid legal action. However, the reason these taxpayers have not yet paid, is because they disagree with their assessment and have therefore lodged a dispute AND suspension of payment ( i.e. a request to suspend the payment of tax) and have yet to receive any feedback from SARS. So in a nutshell, taxpayers are being chased for payment, despite having followed the correct process to object to the taxes due.
Let’s have a quick recap of the timelines around the dispute resolution process.
SARS are supposed to take up to 60 business days to review your dispute (but we are seeing cases where this is taking longer). What many people don’t realise is that the period 16 December to 16 January is excluded from the review period. This means that a dispute raised on 15 November 2018 may only be reviewed by 13 March 2019!
Therefore, if the following applies to you:
you have raised a dispute AND suspension of payment, and
you have received no feedback from SARS yet with regards to the above and,
you are receiving SMS’s or emails from SARS demanding payment in order to avoid legal action.
We suggest you take the following action ASAP:
Call SARS on 0800 007 277 to open a case. The SARS agent needs to check your profile and confirm that your dispute and suspension of payment has been lodged and is still open i.e. pending an outcome. They should also confirm that you can ignore the SMSs/emails from SARS demanding payment until the dispute is resolved. It is very important you do this so that you have a case number should SARS levy interest or penalties due to the outstanding debt at a later stage.
Ask the SARS call centre agent to provide you with the case number for the Suspension of Payment request. If someone calls you asking for money again, supply them with this reference number.
If you are still unsure, please don’t hesitate to contact our TaxTim helpdesk and one of our tax experts will gladly assist.