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Enhancements in Trust Dispute Resolution Process by SARS


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Enhancements in Trust Dispute Resolution Process by SARS

Tax Consulting SA

13th May 2024


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In its continuous pursuit of organizational excellence and in alignment with its Vision 2024, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has unveiled significant enhancements to its digital platforms and technology infrastructure. Among the notable improvements introduced on 20 April 2024, is the streamlining of the Trust tax dispute resolution process. These enhancements mark a pivotal step towards fostering efficiency, transparency, and accessibility in resolving Trust-related tax disputes.

Prior to these enhancements, the resolution of Trust tax disputes was predominantly a manual process, involving the completion of ADR1 and ADR2 alternative dispute resolution forms. However, with the advent of the new system enhancements, Trusts now have the option to submit their disputes electronically through the eFiling platform or by visiting a SARS branch. This transition to digital platforms underscores SARS's commitment to modernization and its endeavour to provide taxpayers and traders with user-friendly mechanisms for compliance.


The upgraded system now accommodates electronic submissions for various dispute-related processes, including Requests for Reasons, Notices of Objection, Notices of Appeal, and Requests for Remission. This affords Trusts greater convenience and expediency in navigating the dispute resolution landscape. Both electronic channels have been meticulously designed to guide taxpayers through the process of capturing and submitting their disputes, ensuring a seamless and user-centric experience.

These enhancements represent a significant milestone in SARS's ongoing efforts to modernize its operations and enhance service delivery. By leveraging digital technologies and embracing innovation, SARS aims to foster a culture of compliance, transparency, and trust while empowering taxpayers to fulfil their obligations effectively and efficiently. Indeed, the implementation of these dispute resolution enhancements by SARS suggests a proactive approach to managing an anticipated increase in tax returns and associated disputes. With the advent of advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) developments, there is a growing emphasis on compliance and enhanced scrutiny within the tax landscape.


The integration of AI developments and digital platforms into tax administration systems enables tax authorities like SARS to analyse data more efficiently, identify discrepancies, and enforce compliance with greater precision. This heightened scrutiny may lead to an uptick in the number of disputes as taxpayers seek clarification on complex tax matters or contest assessments perceived as inaccurate or unfair.

In conclusion, the introduction of electronic dispute resolution mechanisms for Trusts signifies a paradigm shift in the way trust tax disputes are managed, heralding a new era of efficiency and accessibility in the South African tax landscape. SARS appears to remain committed to driving continuous improvement and innovation, as it endeavours to meet the evolving needs of taxpayers and uphold the integrity of the tax administration system. Taxpayers must ensure that these electronic dispute resolution mechanisms are used to their advantage, by utilising the services of a tax attorney who is aware of the intricacies of the dispute resolution process and is comfortable using eFiling.

Written by André Daniels, Head of Tax Controversy & Dispute Resolution at Tax Consulting SA


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