According to Government Gazette No. 43266, “services required to comply with an obligation imposed by or to exercise a right in terms of a tax Act” are now included within the range of “essential financial services”.
In simple terms, the directive confirms that tax practitioners and other providers that offer these services can operate as normal, Jean du Toit, a senior tax attorney at Tax Consulting SA explained to BusinessTech.
Pam Saxby of Legalbrief Policy Watch reports that the ministerial directive notes that such services may be conducted ‘by an external service provider or directly by a taxpayer, trader or an employee of a taxpayer or trader in respect of the taxpayer’s or trader’s affairs’.
“Reference is made to the definition of ‘tax Act’ in the 2011 Tax Administration Act, in terms of which ‘tax Act’ means the statute itself or any Act, or any portion of an Act, referred to in section 4 of the South African Revenue Services (SARS) Act, excluding the Customs and Excise Act’. Sub-section 4(1)(a) of the 1997 SARS Act (functions) provides that, ‘to achieve its objective’, SARS must ‘secure the efficient and effective, and widest possible, enforcement of … national legislation listed in Schedule 1; and any other legislation concerning the collection of revenue that may be assigned to SARS in terms of either legislation or an agreement between SARS and the organ of state or institution entitled to the revenue’. “
What are Essential Financial Services? The FSCA has confirmed that they have compiled draft directives for the Minister’s consideration – we will keep you posted.