Why must controlling bodies for Tax Practitioners be recognised?
The Tax Administration Act (2011) has been amended requiring tax practitioners to register with a recognised controlling body, and with SARS. This change is intended to give a framework that will make sure that tax practitioners are properly qualified and that a mechanism is available, both to taxpayers and SARS, to address misconduct. In order to qualify as a recognised controlling body an organisation must either be:
- listed in section 240A of the Tax Administration Act or
- be a statutory body similar to the statutory bodies listed and named in a notice by the Minister
- or be recognised by SARS.
SARS is expected to “Recognise” Controlling Bodies for tax practitioners that provide advice with respect to the application of a tax Act or complete returns if the body remains relevant and effective on their requirements stipulated on the TAAct.
What are the criteria for SARS recognising controlling bodies?
For an entity to apply to the Commissioner to become a Recognised Controlling Body for natural persons (individuals) who provide advice with respect to the application of a tax Act or complete returns, they must meet certain criteria. The criteria that an entity must meet are:
The entity must ensure with regards to such persons that the following are maintained:
- Minimum qualifications and experience requirements;
• Continuing professional education requirements;
• Codes of ethics and conduct;
• Tax compliance; and
• Disciplinary process and procedures.
The entity must have a minimum of 1 000 members upon recognition or have a reasonable expectation of reaching 1 000 members by end of the first year of recognition.
When an entity is recognised as a Recognised Controlling Body, it must submit a report of its members and compliance within the prescribed time period and in the prescribed form and manner.
SARS List of currently recognised controlling bodies
- Law Society of South Africa
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
- Chartered Secretaries Southern Africa (CSSA)
- General Council of the Bar of South Africa
- Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA)
- Institute of Accounting and Commerce (IAC)
- SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)
- SA Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA)
- SA Institute of Tax Practitioners (SAIT)
- The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
- Association of Accounting Technicians Southern Africa (AAT(SA))
The following controlling bodies were automatically recognised in terms of the Act:
- Law Society of South Africa
- General Council of the Bar of South Africa, Bar Councils and Societies of Advocates referred to in Section 7 of the Admission of Advocates Act, 1964
- Independant Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA)
How does the Controlling Body become recognised?
The entity must apply manually to the Commissioner to become a Recognised Controlling Body.