The adoption by the South African Revenue Service (Sars) of a new single registration process will see business owners save time and money.
The new single registration process, which Sars began rolling out last month, consolidates the registration of all types of tax products for both individuals and legal entities into one single registration process.
The roll-out includes the single application and registration for Corporate Income Tax, Income Tax (including Provisional Tax), Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), Value-Added Tax (Vat) and customs and excise duties.
Previously, taxpayers were required to register separately for each type of tax. Now one can register for various tax types with the help of the Registration, Amendments and Verification (RAV01) form found on the Sars website. Read more about how to use this form on page 2.
Sars spokesperson, Adrian Lackay, says a single registration profile will be linked to the taxpayer’s eFiling account if the details provided by the user correspond with their taxpayer’s details on the Sars system and meet the system’s security and validation rules.
“If the user is a first-time registrant and the entity was not automatically registered (via the Companies Intellectual Properties Commission) then they will need to visit a Sars branch. Once registered, the taxpayer will be able to register for eFiling, if not already registered,” says Lackay.
He says the single registration process does not affect existing employer functionality such as submissions of tax returns.
However, it does provide employers and all other taxpayers with a consolidated view of their profile via eFiling. Sharon Smulders, head of tax technical policy and research at the South African Institute of Tax Practitioners (Sait), welcomes the news.
“This is good for small businesses. It is a step in the right direction. Small businesses should be supportive of this process because it will save them time and money,” says Smulders.
She believes Sars has most likely adopted the new measure because the Receiver is in the process of tightening up their controls to safeguard taxpayers against cyber-crime.
This comes after an increase in email scams and phishing attacks last year.
Smulders says despite initial “teething problems” the process is expected to run smoothly.
“Our members (tax practitioners) were not being found on the Sars system and this raised concern, but Sars was very helpful in sorting out these issues,” says Smulder.
Those business owners who are already registered need only check whether the details of the public officer they listed for their business are correct.
Should any changes or updates be required, this can be done using RAV01 form on the Sars website.
When Small Business Connect spoke to business owners – two weeks after the process went live – to hear what they had to say about the new registration process, some either had an accountant manage their books, while others had not heard about it.
One of these business owners, Joel Emmanuel, owner of EDT Training, says even though he outsources his bookkeeping that the new process is good news for small business owners.
“If it gets rid of red tape and makes the process easier, then as a small business owner, I welcome this. This will be especially helpful to those startups who can’t to pay someone to do their taxes,” says Emmanuel. At the time of going to print, 426 new PAYE registrations were being performed near real time, with 21 630 income tax and 192 Vat registrations being completed.
Notices of Registration containing tax reference numbers were being issued immediately.
- Visit www.sars.gov.za for more information.