In terms of section 104 of the Tax Administration Act, No. 28 of 2011, taxpayers bear the onus of proving that they are entitled to input tax credits. SARS therefore often request documents in respect of a VAT return for the purpose of determining if a taxpayer can prove entitlement to an input tax credit at enforcement level.
Often times the enforcement or SARS audits migrates to tax dispute resolution where SARS raises a VAT217 assessment. Unfortunately, however, in our experience, some SARS officials seemingly fail to distinguish between enforcement/audit and tax dispute resolution resulting in back and forth communication between the taxpayer and SARS that are irrelevant to the actual VAT217, resulting in objections being declared invalid for invalid reasons or SARS making averments such as a taxpayer cannot object to a VAT217 on a specific period if there is an audit on that same period.
Having a crystal clear understanding of the dispute resolution rules, as well as substantive tax law and substantial experience in respect of both are absolutely crucial in these cases to ensure the dispute gets resolved expeditiously.
We have both the knowledge and experience to assist in these matters and have done so for various taxpayers.