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Tax Dispute Resolution

Overview

A tax-related dispute needs to be referred to an attorney before actual litigation. We believe that this should occur at the earliest opportunity.

We are able to deal with all aspects of potential disputes, and follow a multidisciplinary approach. Our team includes qualified chartered accountants (SA), admitted attorneys, and professionals who have completed CFA examinations. This means that our clients automatically receive comprehensive legal, financial and practical settlement advice as we handle the dispute.

Apart from technical tax issues and the Tax Administration Act, No. 28 of 2011 (TAA), there are a variety of other legal and commercial factors that may influence the outcome of a dispute. These include:

  • the provisions of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, No. 3 of 2000;
  • valuation methodology, including statistical methods;
  • settlement calculations, including probability theory;
  • presentation and negotiation skills; and
  • court practice and trends.

Settlement negotiations

Most commercial disputes are settled rather than litigated. Therefore, one of the key areas where we can be of assistance is in the course of settlement negotiations.

However, other than the Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) process or the pre-trial conference procedure, there is no specific or clearly defined process for engaging in these negotiations.

We are able to identify opportunities for settlement negotiations and have a positive, cooperative approach to SARS. This facilitates mutually beneficial settlements.

Penalty remission applications

The new TAA replaces the current additional tax regime and various other penalties with a much more stringent penalty regime. Our services in this regard include:

  • providing opinions that meet the requirements for penalty remission;
  • making submissions to ensure that any understatement falls under the lowest possible penalty item; and
  • making submissions to obtain penalty remissions.

Voluntary Disclosure Programme

The new TAA allows a taxpayer to apply for relief in terms of a Voluntary Disclosure Programme (VDP). We are able to assist clients with the submission of VDP applications and the subsequent conclusion of the VDP agreement with SARS, including any negotiations or discussions in this respect.

Tax litigation

Our litigation experts brief and support the advocates litigating matters. Acting in our clients' best interests, we continually assess opportunities to limit the issues in dispute or identify potential settlement opportunities.

Key Contacts
Nina
Keyser
Position:
Partner
Telephone:
+27 21 431 7357
Department:
Tax
Email:
nina.keyser@webberwentzel.com
Nina Keyser