Make sure your tax adviser isn't a write-off
Just because someone is registered as a tax practitioner does not mean he or she is competent to help you fill in your tax return.
It's tax return filing season and you may be on the lookout for a tax practitioner to help you get your return in on time. But make sure you choose someone who is sufficiently qualified, and who won't leave you in the lurch and in trouble with the taxman.
Between 14 000 and 16 000 tax practitioners who do not have any tax-related qualifications are among the estimated 23 000 to 25 000 practitioners who are helping taxpayers fill in their returns. Although some of these "backyard" practitioners are highly experienced and may be fit to advise you, some may not be.
And if a tax practitioner does not belong to a professional body with a disciplinary procedure, you have little recourse if he or she fails to fill in your return on time, fills it in incorrectly or advises you incorrectly regarding your tax obligations.
Besides the danger of hiring someone who is not qualified, you may also unwittingly engage a practitioner who is unable to keep his or her own tax affairs in order.
Recently the South African Revenue Service (SARS) found that 9.5 percent of tax practitioners who assist some four million taxpayers are not tax-compliant in that they are either not registered with SARS or their own tax affairs are not in order.
full story from Personal Finance here