I noticed that the button on eFiling to register a user has been replaced with a new button to Activate Registered Representative. When you click on it to register to be able to submit returns on behalf of the client you are presented with the following that includes your names and ID number, not that of the client:
I, xxx, ID/Passport number xxx, being the authorised Representative Taxpayer of ABC (Pty) Ltd, registration number xxxx/xxxxxx/07, do hereby confirm that I have been duly appointed by the taxpayer in this capacity, and that my obligations as defined in the relevant legislation include, but are not limited to, the following:
•Maintenance of registered particulars at SARS
•Submission of tax returns
•Payment of amounts due
•Other related obligations
I am fully aware of my personal accountability in this regard and the consequences of any false declaration.
Is this a sneaky way of SARS to get Tax Practitioners to take responsibility for their clients default on paying their tax debts? If I read Section 153 of the Tax Administration Act which lays out the definition of a Representative Taxpayer, it seems that this is the case. I phoned SAIT and SAIPA and neither of the two Institutes take my concern very seriously.
I suggest that in the authorisation letter issued by the company it should be stated categorically that you as Tax Practitioner is only appointed in that specific capacity and NOT in the capacity of Representative Taxpayer in terms of S. 153. Alternatively it is time to go through the tedious and time consuming process of registering each client on their own eFiling profile.
Any thoughts on this?