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Thread: Can I save invoices for SARS record keeping by scanning them in?

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    Full Member Intothedeepbluesea's Avatar
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    Can I save invoices for SARS record keeping by scanning them in?

    As per the heading, can I save invoices for SARS record keeping by scanning them in?
    Expense invoices, suppliers invoices etc sscanned as a high res jpeg, will SARS accept that, make life a lot easier

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    Diamond Member HR Solutions's Avatar
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    No - not as far as I know. They need to see the original slips if they want to, otherwise it opens the door for "cooking" your scanned slips.
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    Bronze Member Beancounter's Avatar
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    I believe that the VAT Act states that tax invoices may be kept in any format, including electronic.

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    Platinum Member Mike C's Avatar
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    I found this helpful information on MD Accountants and Auditors website.

    Tax Administration Act:

    Records are kept in the original form, in an orderly fashion, and in a safe place, or, where retained in electronic form, in an “acceptable electronic form”, or in a form specifically authorised by a senior SARS official.

    This “acceptable electronic form” must ensure that the information has remained complete and unaltered and is capable of being displayed or produced to the person who is inspecting the record.

    It is required that the person required to keep records is able to, within a reasonable period when called on by SARS, to provide SARS with an electronic copy of the records, in a format that SARS is able to readily access, read and analyse, or to send the records to SARS in an electronic form that is readily accessible by SARS, or to provide SARS with a paper copy of those records.

    Taxpayers who keep records in an electronic format must ensure that measures are taken for the adequate storage of the electronic records. It is necessary to store all electronic signatures, login codes, keys, passwords or certificates required to access the electronic records, and the procedures to obtain full access to any electronic records that are encrypted.

    Taxpayers who retain electronic records must have the records available for inspection by SARS at all reasonable times, and at premises physically located within the country, or accessible from such premises (if authority has been granted by SARS). The electronic records must be able to be made available for purposes of an audit or investigation conducted by SARS.



    Electronic Communications and Transactions Act:

    Where a law requires information to be retained, that requirement is met by retaining such information in in the format in which it was generated, sent or received, or in a format which can be demonstrated to represent accurately the information generated, sent or received.

    The origin and destination of that data message and the date and time it was sent or received can be determined.
    An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't. - Anatole France

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    Diamond Member HR Solutions's Avatar
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    Yep have to have iriginals,
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    Full Member Intothedeepbluesea's Avatar
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    And what about these heat sensitive invoices that fade to nothing after a yr or 2?
    SARS does seem to imply you can have scans for record purposes, in the Us I know you can and paperless document management is pretty big stuff. Many apps avail for it and mainly focused on recording invoices for tax purposes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HR Solutions View Post
    Yep have to have iriginals,
    Well Mike C's post above seems to contradict that, doesn't it?


    In any event, the requirement of keeping an "original" paper invoice for example is becoming silly. What difference does it make if the supplier prints out an invoice on their computer and then posts it to me, or if he emails the document to me and I print it out on my printer next to me?

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    In my experience SARS only have an issue if they suspect tax fraud. Audits are now mostly done electronically and electronic copies of invoices are readily accepted by them.

    If you store them in pdf format from Acrobat (there may be others) you can really fine tune the security settings to prevent tampering, even printing for that matter.

    The presumption is always that you have archived the hard copies.

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    For how long are these records to be kept weather in hard or soft copy

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    Diamond Member HR Solutions's Avatar
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    Where a law requires information to be retained, that requirement is met by retaining such information in in the format in which it was generated, sent or received, or in a format which can be demonstrated to represent accurately the information generated, sent or received.

    Busfact I think this is exactly what I said, not a contradiction.
    But anyway - if u think u can lose original receipts etc and only keep a scanned copy - go for it.
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