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Urgent Notice: SARS Special Stoppers

September 6, 2016

We recently received this SAIT Member Alert Newsletter, relating to taxpayer refunds:



Dear Members

SAIT is currently receiving an influx of queries from members regarding refunds due to taxpayers and requests by SARS that the taxpayer must personally bring supporting documents to a SARS office.

The technical team has raised this issue with SARS Head Office and we are awaiting feedback.

Below is an extract of the letter that was submitted to SARS on behalf of our members:

“A tax practitioner submits an individual’s return of income (ITR12) by using the efiling system. A request is then received and the supporting documents are submitted through the efiling system. In most instances a completion letter is then issued by SARS.

When the tax practitioner or taxpayer follows up to determine when the refund will be made SARS responds by saying that a “special stopper” was placed on the taxpayers account. The tax practitioner or taxpayer is then told that he or she must go to SARS with all the supporting documents together with banking details and proof of address.

We don’t understand why this is required. The supporting documents were submitted as was required. It was also received by a SARS official as the letter of completion would otherwise not have been sent. The bank details and address of the taxpayer were not changed and the proof now required, has therefore been provided earlier.

We understand that SARS can, in terms of section 190 of the Tax Administration Act, hold back the authorisation of a refund. In terms of section 190(3) that can only be done until “such time that verification … has been finalised”. Clearly the letter of completion is confirmation that the verification (review) has been finalised and the ‘special stopper’ cannot be used to delay the refund.”