With the introduction of the Tax Administration Act (TAA),
specific rules have now been introduced in relation to electronic
In terms of section 30(1)(b) of the TAA, records may be kept in
electronic form as prescribed in the schedule attached to
Government Gazette Number 35733 of 1 October 2012.
A person is allowed to keep records in electronic format if it
is retained in an 'acceptable electronic form'. Records
would be in an acceptable electronic form if the information
remains complete and unaltered except for any changes which arise
in the normal course of communication, storage and display (i.e.
the integrity of the records complies with the standard contained
in section 14 of the Electronic Communications & Transactions
It is required that records are kept and maintained at a place
physically located in South Africa. However, SARS may also
authorise that the records are maintained at a physical location
other than South Africa in limited circumstances, such as where
electronic access to the records is possible from the person's
physical address in South Africa for the duration of the period
that the person is required to keep and retain the records and
where an international tax agreement with the country of location
exists for reciprocal assistance in the administration of
There are also requirements for additional documents to be
retained where computer software or electronic platforms are
altered or adapted for the person's specific requirements.
Finally, adequate storage and back-up of the electronic records
should be ensured, including the storage of the media on which
electronic records are stored, the storage of all electronic
signatures, etc. Electronic records, log-in codes, keys, passwords
and certificates to allow access, should therefore be readily
available when SARS wishes to perform a tax audit and/or to inspect
All other obligations as prescribed in the TAA and Tax Acts in
relation to a person's duty to keep records also applies to
records in electronic format, as well as the prescribed periods of
We would recommend that professional advice is obtained to
ensure that all the requirements are met where records are kept in
electronic format and where necessary approval is obtained from
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The expansion of the West African regional market to foreign investors, and the search for emerging markets has led to a continuous increase in business mobility and cross border investments with Nigeria.
Effective collaboration amongst government agencies, automation of processes and capacity building by tax authorities have always been identified by stakeholders as strategies for achieving an efficient tax system.
The major objective of the waiver is to promote voluntary compliance and consequently generate revenue for government which otherwise, could have been lost.
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