After an objection has been disallowed by SARS the next step in the tax dispute resolution procedure is to note an appeal if a taxpayer is still not satisfied.

Normally, at appeal stage, SARS either employs lawyers/advocates or use their own internal legal team to ensure fair resolution of a dispute. It is therefore trite for taxpayers at appeal stage to involve expert tax dispute resolution professionals with both the procedural and substantive tax law knowledge and experience.

Appeals are always noted either in the Tax Board or Tax Court, depending on which court has jurisdiction (noting an appeal in the incorrect court may result in costs against taxpayers) but taxpayers may decide to try and resolve the dispute through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) first.

The ADR process is much less formal than litigation and the aim is to try and resolve the dispute through settlement or agreement between the taxpayer and SARS. No judgment is handed down as to which party is correct, even though a facilitator is in most cases present to assist the parties to reach settlement or agreement.

Some disputes between taxpayers and SARS are suitable for ADR as opposed to formal litigation while others simply are not suitable for ADR and litigation in the case of the latter, has the best chance of resulting in fair resolution.

Our team of expert tax dispute resolution professionals have noted in appeals in the Tax Court, Tax Board and have successfully resolved several disputes at ADR level.