Tax Practitioners

 

What do you do as a Tax Practitioner?

A tax practitioner is someone who completes SARS returns on behalf of third parties for reward/a fee. A person who completes their own tax returns or the tax returns of their employer is not required to register as a tax practitioner. A  tax professional may work as a tax auditor for South African Revenue Service (SARS) or as a tax practitioner in private practice. Tax practitioners in private practice who render tax services for a fee have to register  with SARS. Tax practitioners analyse, report and provide advice on taxation issues to organisations or individuals, prepare taxation returns and reports, and handle disputes with taxation authorities.

 

Study path:

A minimum of a National Senior Certificate with Degree Entrance is required for entry into this occupation.

There are many pathways that one can follow to become a tax professional.  All the pathways leading to the occupation Accountant in Practice will also enable you to work as a tax professional.  Maths at Senior Certificate level is a requirement for these pathways.

 

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Practicing Attorneys may also register as tax practitioners.  The learning pathways leading to the designations that are accepted by SARS for recognition as a tax practitioner are displayed under the relevant occupations.

In addition to these one can follow the learning pathways leading to the designations conferred by the South African Institute of Tax Practitioners (SAIT).  First you can obtain a Bachelor of Tax degree, gain three years’ of work experience and become a member of SAIT with the designation General Tax Practitioner (SA) (if you work in private practice) or General Tax Professional (SA) if you work in commerce and industry.

The second pathway starts with a Bachelor of Accounting degree (or any other relevant degree such as a law degree or a degree in management accounting), followed by a post graduate qualification in taxation.  After three years’ of work experience you can become a member of the Institute of Tax Practitioners (SAIT) with the designation Master Tax Practitioner (SA) if you work in private practice or  Master Tax Professional (SA) if you work in Commerce and Industry.

 

Professional Bodies:

A requirement for registration as a tax practitioner is membership of one of the accounting professional bodies such as SAICA or SAIPA or membership of the South African Institure of Tax Practitioners (SAIT) or the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA). As a Tax Practitioner you are only required to register with one of these bodies, not all, however it is mandatory to register as a practitioner with the South African Revenue Services (SARS).