Information Guide Note 1:
VAT and Rent Tax Assessments - Objection Rights and Rules
1. You have objection rights
If you have received a taxation assessment for Value Added Tax (VAT) or Rent Tax, you have objection rights.
For the purposes of objections a taxation assessment generally means:
- an amended assessment,
- an advance assessment,
- a default assessment, or
- an assessment of penalty.
2. File a notice of objection
A person dissatisfied with a taxation assessment may file a notice of objection to the assessment with the Director Note 2. It needs to be filed within 28 days of the assessment.
3. Make sure the objection is valid
The notice of objection will be valid only if:
- It is filed within 28 days of the notice of taxation assessment
- If the objection is to an amended assessment, the objection is limited to the alterations or additions made in the amended assessment.
- It clearly states:
- the grounds on which you are objecting,
- the changes that you consider are required to correct the assessment, and
- the reasons for making those changes;
- On or before filing the notice of objection, you have:
- paid, or made a payment arrangement (that has been accepted by the Director) for the alterations or additions in the assessment that you are not disputing, AND
- paid 50% of the disputed tax due or such lesser amount as may be agreed in writing with the Director; or
- provided security under section 32 of the Tax Administration Act no.37 of 2018 - for the amount of the disputed tax; AND
- if the objection relates to a default or advance assessment you must filed the tax return to which the taxation assessment relates;
4. If your objection is NOT valid
If your notice of objection is not considered valid, the Director will provide a written notice to you stating the reasons it is not valid and advising the date by which a valid objection needs to be filed.
5. Extension of time to object
You can apply for an extension of time to file a notice of objection – an application must be filed within 28 days of the date of the taxation assessment.
6. When a valid objection has been filed
The Director will consider a notice of objection that is validly filed and make a decision to:
- allow the objection in whole or
- allow the objection in part or
- disallow the objection.
7. The Director will then issue a notice of objection decision
The Director must serve notice, in writing, of the objection decision and take all steps necessary to give effect to the decision, including, the making of an amended assessment.
The notice of objection decision will include a statement of the Director’s findings on the material facts and the reasons for the decision.
The Director will seek to make their decision and issue a notice of objection decision within 30 days of receiving a valid objection.
8. You can appeal an Objection Decision
Review of objection decision by the Revenue Tribunal Note 3
A person dissatisfied with an objection decision may apply to the Revenue Tribunal for review of the decision in accordance with section 71 of the Tax Administration Act no.37 of 2018.
Appeal to Supreme Court
A party to a proceeding before the Revenue Tribunal may only appeal the decision of the Tribunal on a question of law to the Supreme Court within 28 days after being notified of the decision of the Tribunal.
Appeal to Court of Appeal
A party to a proceeding before the Supreme Court relating to a reviewable decision may appeal the decision of the Supreme Court to the Court of Appeal within 28 days after being notified of the decision of the Supreme Court, but only with leave of the Court of Appeal.
9. General provisions relating to objections and appeals
Burden of Proof
- In a proceeding under this Act in relation to a revenue or reviewable decision, the burden is on the person challenging the decision to prove that the decision is incorrect.
Grounds of Objection
- In an application to the Revenue Tribunal, or an appeal to the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal in relation to an objection decision, the taxpayer is limited to the grounds stated in the taxpayer’s notice of objection to which the objection decision relates unless the Tribunal or Court grants the taxpayer leave to add new grounds.
Note 1: Rules regarding objections and appeals changed from 1 January 2020 on implementation of the Tax Administration Act no.37 of 2018.
The legislation on which this Information Guide is based is contained in Part 7 of the Tax Administration Act no.37 of 2018. This document is a guide only and not intended to replace the need to refer to the legislation.
Note 2: References to the Director are to the Director, Customs and Inland Revenue
Note 3: Work is underway to establish the Revenue Tribunal as outlined in Part 14 Division 3 of the Tax Administration Act no. 37 of 2018. Until then, section 111(9) of the Tax Administration Act no. 37 of 2018 applies:
If the Revenue Tribunal has not been established at the time that a person is served with a notice of a reviewable decision under this Act, the person may appeal the decision to the Supreme Court within 28 days after being served notice of the reviewable decision or within such further time as the Supreme Court may allow.