SAICA’s National Tax Committee and its work
The committee operates to support the overall objectives of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).
The purpose of the committee is to be the most influential committee on decisions made by stakeholders on South African tax matters, particularly in respect of decisions made by the National Treasury, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and Parliament, with a view to improving outcomes for the South African public, both individuals and businesses, and our members, both practising and non-practising.
In order to achieve this, the committee seeks to attract the most talented and committed committee members (in terms of professional competence, pro-activity and management of relationships) by meeting and exceeding their expectations in terms of reputation, respect, influence, learning, insight and enjoyment.
The committee will undertake, from time to time, surveys of committee stakeholders with a view to assessing stakeholder needs and satisfaction levels. This will provide a basis for focusing on areas to make improvements.
The following are the objectives of the committee:
- To build and maintain a good professional relationship with SARS and the National Treasury.
- To review and monitor tax legislation and practice continually (including legislation or regulations not restricted to tax but that may affect tax practitioners) with a view to:
- formulating and submitting written and/or oral representations for new legislation or to revising existing legislation; and/or
- making recommendations to appropriate authorities with regard to the tax policy of South Africa including, when appropriate, to the Portfolio Committee on Finance, National Treasury, SARS or any other commissions or committees.
The tax issues reviewed will be judged to be of reasonably widespread importance and generally not issues of concern only to one or a small number of taxpayers or members.
- To scrutinise budget proposals, draft legislation, draft interpretation notes, Bills and amendments to legislation and other documentation that relates to tax, in order to provide, on a timely basis, meaningful, valuable and technically correct commentary and recommendations on behalf of SAICA to National Treasury, SARS and/or other relevant bodies.
- To promote and support among members of SAICA a culture of full and proper disclosure of information to SARS, and compliance and morality with tax legislation to enhance the CA(SA) brand in tax matters.
- To participate in creating a proactive awareness of tax developments and changes thereto.
- To encourage compliance with, and support for, the SAICA Statement of Intent with SARS.
- To convey practical operational issues to relevant authorities with possible solutions.
- To convey practical operational frustrations and issues from relevant authorities (specifically SARS) to SAICA members, and vice versa, with the purpose of finding mutually acceptable practical solutions.
- To act as an intermediary between SAICA members and relevant authorities to resolve matters of concern.
- To keep SAICA members informed on the work of the committee and other issues/information by timeously publishing relevant information of Integritax, Accountancy SA, seminars, workshops and other communication media.
- To maintain and improve liaison continually with the tax committees of the provincial societies and regional associations of SAICA and other bodies, e.g. ABASA, SAIPA, SACOB, etc., with a view to ensuring:
- Knowledge-sharing concerning developments, submissions/representations made, etc;
- technical co-operation; and
- that correct channels are used for dealing with policy/operational matters, and regional/national matters.
- To encourage, through the appropriate committees of SAICA or otherwise, the advancement of post-qualification education in taxation and the promotion of courses, discussion groups, task teams and similar gatherings dealing with taxation matters.
- To advise the SAICA Management Committee on policy matters in connection with taxation affairs for the Executive Committee to take these matters up with the appropriate authorities.
The committee meets on a quarterly basis at the discretion of the Chairman. On appropriate occasions, the Chairman may invite non-members to attend and/or address the committee meetings (e.g. SARS, specific task team member(s), ABASA, SAIPA, SACOB, etc.).
Agendas are structured to deal with policy and operational issues separately. Subsequent to the meetings, the minutes and an action plan are prepared and circulated to members of the committee for action/comment.
CO-OPERATION WITH REGIONS
The SAICA Regional Tax Committees reflect the structure and composition of the National Tax Committee.
Each representative from the Regional Tax Committees serving on the NTC communicates with the members of the National Tax Committee regarding regional matters. Minutes of Regional Tax Committee meetings held are provided to the SAICA cecretariat when circulated to Regional Tax Committee members.
From time to time, it may be necessary to establish sub-committee/specialist task teams to address specific tax-related issues. These may include, but are not restricted to, investigating the practicality of specific tax legislation and providing guidance to members on specific tax topics, etc.
At least one member from the committee should serve on each sub-committee based on the area of expertise and objectives of the sub-committee.
A representative from the committee may be appointed as the chairman of the sub-committee.
Appointments to the sub-committee will be based on the same criteria as for members of national and regional tax committees, as well as the objective for which the sub-committee/special task team has been established.
A number of universal principles apply to the management of all stakeholder relationships by the committee and the conduct of its members, which can be divided between ethics and outputs, as follows:
Behaviour to reflect the following principles:
- Affirmation and acknowledgement of all stakeholder contributions.
- Integrity in maintaining confidences and being trustworthy with information.
- Fairness in the treatment of stakeholders, such as respecting viewpoints and in the allocation of tasks.
- Efficiency in the use of resources.
Material produced to reflect the following qualities:
- Factual accuracy
- Technical competence
- Possible solutions and recommendations.
Muneer Hassan CA(SA) is Project Director – Tax, SAICA.