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SARS e-Filing update

26 May 2005

The release of the new Transfer Duty declarations coupled with announcements of SARS's new e-Filing initiatives (See New transfer duty forms) have caused some confusion amongst attorneys and paralegals.

This short overview summarises the current situation in an attempt to provide some clarity on these issues.

New Forms
In April 2005 SARS released new versions of the Transfer Duty declarations. Initially there was a "settling in" period during which both the old and new forms were accepted by SARS.

On the 1st September the use of the new forms will become mandatory for all sales. From 1st May until 1st September, the date of sale will determine which forms may be used. The old forms will only be accepted for sales originating prior to the 1st May 2005. For a detailed explanation of the new forms see TD form presentation and TD form queries

e-Filing initiative
In a separate but related initiative SARS is undertaking a project which will enable the electronic submission of Transfer Duty declarations as well as the electronic payment of Transfer Duty by attorneys. This project is an extension of existing SARS eFiling initiatives.

It is important to note that enabling the electronic submission of Transfer Duty declarations and electronic payment in no way replaces or supersedes the normal submission channels open to attorneys. eFiling merely provides an additional submission and payment mechanism for those who would prefer to use it.

Scanning saga
A slight twist in the electronic submission scenario is that a copy of the Deed of Sale still needs to be submitted. While the SARS eFiling system will provide the mechanism to input the details needed for the completion of the Transfer Duty declarations online, the Deed of Sale cannot be accommodated in this manner as it is a physical document in the possession of the attorney. To submit this document electronically the SARS eFiling mechanism will have the ability to "upload" (send to SARS) the Deed of Sale attached to the rest of the submission.

The trick is getting the physical signed Deed of Sale into an electronic format which can be accepted by the SARS eFiling system. This will necessitate the Deed of Sale being scanned at source (i.e. in the attorney's office).

The requirement that attorneys scan Deeds of Sale is currently under discussion at SARS but at the moment the policy seems to be, if you choose to submit the Transfer Duty Declaration electronically that is the mode in which the Deed of Sale must also be received.

When one considers that a good quality scanner will cost only about R400.00 this cost is well worth the efficiencies gained and time saved.

Old Faithful
Of course, if you choose to manually submit both the Deed of Sale and the new Transfer Duty declarations with payment, this will continue to be acceptable to SARS.

The GhostConvey
Product Management Team

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