Tax Dispute Resolution – All You Need to Know (Full Series)

Date: May 13, 2021 - Jul 15, 2021

CPD hours: 2 Hours

Time: 15:00 - 17:00

Event Type: Webinar

Presenter: Julia Choate
Presenter: Patricia Williams
Presenter: Kelly Wright
Presenter: Mogola Makola
Presenter: Aneria Bouwer
Presenter: Lebo Motsumi-Nkoloti
Presenter: Advocate Aakifah Louw


During the course of May to July 2021, a team of senior tax professionals from Bowmans together with Advocate Aakifah Louw (Group One Advocates) will anchor three interactive sessions on the broader topic of tax dispute resolution. The panel will share their practical experience and knowledge in navigating the increasingly complex and contentious field of tax administration and tax disputes by highlighting and discussing some of the more frequently encountered challenges in their respective fields. The webinar-series aims to provide delegates with practical tips and guidance on:

  • Successfully navigating audits and queries from SARS before an assessment is issued, and interacting with SARS in the context of rulings and voluntary disclosures.
  • Understanding and proactively mitigating the risk of SARS imposing penalties.
  • Dealing with disputed assessments, including effectively suspending the obligation to pay a disputed amount, and practical advice on managing the dispute resolution process with SARS.
  • Delegates will have the opportunity to submit questions which will be addressed in the live Q&A section at the end of each session.

Dealing with Audits and Queries from SARS (Pre-Assessment) – 13 May 2021

The speakers will provide practical insight into dealing with some of the commonly encountered challenges in tax administration, before an assessment is issued. The management of SARS-initiated audit and information-gathering processes is crucial in generating positive outcomes for taxpayers. However, the many gaps and uncertainties in the application of the rules governing these processes give rise to issues like delayed and protracted audits, “blocked” refunds, and overly broad requests for relevant material.

In this segment, the presenters will discuss some practical tips for navigating the audit and information-gathering process, including how to narrow the scope of a request for relevant material, how to prepare for and manage in-person interactions with SARS, and identifying and protecting your legally privileged information. A few topics that will be covered during this session includes:

  • Managing requests for relevant material, including meetings and in-person interactions with SARS.
  • How to engage with SARS to release delayed and "blocked" refunds.
  • Proactive approaches to document management, confidentiality and legal privilege.
  • Extensions of the limitation period for issuing assessments under section 99(3) and 99(4) of the TAA.
  • Practically resolving unreasonably lengthy audit processes (including administrative law and constitutional remedies).
  • Addressing rejected VDP applications and unfavourable rulings from SARS.

Penalties – 9 June 2021

The session will introduce delegates to the various types of penalties which SARS may impose in respect of income tax, VAT, and customs and excise duties, with a view to understanding and pro-actively mitigating penalty risk.

It’s important for taxpayers to understand how and when SARS is entitled to impose the different penalties provided for in the Tax Administration Act and Customs and Excise Act, and how to challenge and mitigate the different types of penalties when these are imposed, including the different timelines and criteria for remittance. The presenters will explore the nuances of each of the different types of penalty category, with a view to providing delegates with a technical and practical understanding of how not only to mitigate penalties once they have arisen, but how to proactively protect the taxpayer against the imposition of penalties. A few topics that will be covered during this session includes:

  • Percentage-based penalties – the different categories, how “penalty assessments” are communicated to taxpayers and how to remit these penalties.
  • Understatement penalties – when and how SARS can impose these penalties, explanations of the terminology used in sections 221–223 of the TAA, and how to remit these penalties.
  • Proactive approaches to penalty risk management – using TAA opinions effectively.
  • Customs and excise penalties.
  • Click here for more information and to register for this session.

Assessments and Disputes – 15 July 2021

When SARS issues an unfavourable assessment, there are many aspects to consider in preparation for a dispute, including how to deal with the “pay-now-argue-later” rule, and what the appropriate forum for the dispute is.

In this session, our expert panel, which includes litigation practitioners and counsel, will explore the different facets of preparing for and initiating a dispute with SARS, including:

  • Suspension of payment – the various forums and important criteria to consider when applying for suspension of payment, negotiating with SARS, and judicial remedies where SARS refuses to suspend payment of a disputed amount.
  • Requesting reasons for an assessment – considering the tactical merits and outcomes of requesting reasons before lodging an objection to an assessment.
  • Disputes regarding the limitation period (section 99(2) of the TAA) – when can SARS make use of this section, and how can taxpayers manage and mitigate risks around "prescription"?
  • The Objection and Appeal process – timelines, the requirements for a valid objection and appeal, the role requesting a reduced assessment, and practical/strategic tips for success.
  • Judicial remedies where SARS fails to comply with dispute processes, obligations and timelines.
  • The pros and cons of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process – costs, the purpose and nature of proceedings, and how to prepare for an ADR meeting with SARS.
  • How to negotiate a settlement with SARS.

Who should attend?

Session 1 - Tax managers/consultants and heads of tax.

Sessions 2 and 3: Tax managers/consultants, heads of tax, financial directors, accountants.



This event and successful completion of the online assessment will secure 2 hours verifiable output Tax CPD points per session.

Event Investment

This does not form part of the 2021 CPD subscription packages.


Per full series:

Member: R1185.00 R1 066.50

Other members: R1425.00 R1 282.50

Company price (5 attendees maximum): R2850.00 R2 565.00


Per session (regular price)

Member: R395.00

Other member: R475.00

Company price: R950.00

Payments & Cancellations

  • All payments must be made by EFT or by credit card, at least 3 working days before commencement of an event.
  • Kindly note that should payment not be received 2 days after the event, legal action will be taken
  • Proof of payment will be requested at registration, if payment does not reflect on SAIT bank account.
  • Cancellations: 
    • Only written notice of cancellation will be recognized.
    • If the cancellation occurs more than 4 working days prior to the event no cancellation fee will be charged.
    • If the cancellation occurs less than 4 working days prior to the event a 100% cancellation fee will apply.
  • Delegates who book and fail to attend will be liable for the full event fee.
  • SAIT`s liability in the case of an event being cancelled will be limited to a refund or credit of the event fee.
  • Please click here for the full terms and conditions.


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