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      Analysing and Comparing Warrantless Tax Inspections and Searches

      research-article

      PER: Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad

      North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus)

      Tax Administration act, inspections, searches

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          Abstract

          Sections 45 and 63 of the Tax Administration Act 28 of 2011 (TAA) confer drastic information gathering powers on officials of the South African Revenue Service (SARS). On the one hand, section 45 permits warrantless routine (non-targeted) and non-routine (targeted) inspections by a SARS official in respect of records, books of accounts and documents found at premises where a taxpayer is reasonably believed to be conducting a trade or enterprise. The purpose of such inspection is to determine whether there has been compliance with specific obligations by the taxpayer. Section 63, on the other hand, permits, on the grounds of urgency and expediency in exceptional circumstances only, warrantless non-routine (targeted) searches by a senior SARS official of a taxpayer and of third parties associated with a taxpayer, as well as searches of a taxpayer's premises and those of third parties. In addition, section 63 permits the seizure of relevant material found at premises searched. All searches and seizures must occur for the purposes of the efficient and effective administration of tax Acts generally. A comparative analysis of sections 45 and 63 of the TAA reveals the existence of key differences in the substance and practical operation of their provisions. This article distils these differences through an in-depth discussion of the nature and extent of the powers of inspection and search conferred by these provisions, as well as by conceptualising the terms "inspection" and "search" for the purposes of sections 45 and 63 respectively.

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          Most cited references 14

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          "Illegally or Unconstitutionally Obtained Evidence: A South African Perspective

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            "A Warrantless Search of 'Premises' under the Tax Administration Bill

             F Moosa (2012)
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              The Power to Search and Seize without a Warrant under the Tax Administration Act

               F Moosa (2012)
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ND
                Journal
                pelj
                PER: Potchefstroomse Elektroniese Regsblad
                PER
                North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus) (Potchefstroom, North-West Province, South Africa )
                1727-3781
                2019
                : 22
                : 1
                : 1-33
                Affiliations
                [01] orgnameUniversity of the Western Cape South Africa fmoosa@ 123456uwc.ac.za
                Article
                S1727-37812019000100010
                10.17159/1727-3781/2019/v22i0a5705
                bc156a93-bfea-4ffe-a7d7-8d3d3581c925

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 28, Pages: 33
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                Tax Administration act, searches, inspections

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