It is legislated in the Tax Administration Act that any Company that commences a business or has an office in South Africa is required to appoint a Public Officer.
The Public Officer is required to fulfil the Company's tax duties and accept the delivery of notices and other correspondence from the South African Revenue Service on the Company's behalf.
The Public Officer is required to be:
• A natural person
• A South African resident and
• A person approved of by South African Revenue Service.
Any Company that commences a business or has an office in South Africa is required to appoint a Public Officer within one month of such commencement.
The Tax Administration Act requires that the position of Public Officer is filled at all times to enable South African Revenue Service to deliver notices or other correspondence to the Company. Therefore, a Public Officer is required to be appointed until the Company deregisters.
A Company may change the Public Officer at any time, however they are required to advise South African Revenue Service of the change within a maximum of 21 days.
In the event that South African Revenue Service is of the view that the appointed Public Officer is no longer suitable they may withdraw their approval. The Company would then be required to appoint an alternate Public Officer that South African Revenue Service approves of.
Where a Company has not appointed a Public Officer, alternatively where the Public Officer has been changed and the South African Revenue Service has not been notified within the required period, the Company may be subject to an administrative non-compliance penalty.
As Public Officer, we provide the following services to our clients:
• Sign-off your reviewed tax returns;
• Entitle your Company to register with South African Revenue Service for all applicable taxes;
• Receive notices and other correspondence from South African Revenue Service and the Companies Intellectual Properties Commission for purposes of the Companies Act; and
• Perform any further ad hoc services related to the appointment as Public Officer.
Managing your risk
We are a firm that provides Companies with high quality specialised services while also aiming to reduce our clients' risks.
Consequently, we only accept Public Officer appointments from Companies that have engaged with a reputable South African audit firm to assist them with their tax administration and compliance. This manages your Company's risk as this ensures that the audit firms you engage with have reliable internal risk procedures, processes and expert knowledge to apply the correct tax principles in the computation of your Company's tax liability. This approach provides your Company with the right expertise in the critical areas of your business so as to minimise your risk.
To further minimise risk, we enter into a Service Agreement with your Company to provide you with a clear indication of our obligations and yours. This ensures that there is clarity as to our respective roles and assists us in providing you with a synchronised service.