What does a person in this occupation do?
Tax practitioners analyse, report and provide advice on taxation issues to organisations or individuals, prepare taxation returns and reports, and handle disputes with taxation authorities. Tax professionals can work in one of three main sectors: in SARS; in commerce or industry; or in private practice. Tax professionals who work in private practice and render tax services for clients for a fee have to register with SARS as Tax Practitioners.
A minimum of a National Senior Certificate with matriculation exemption is required for entry into this study path. There are many pathways that one can follow to become a Tax Professional. All the pathways leading to the occupation Accountant in Practice will also enable you to work as a Tax Professional.
In addition to these one can follow the learning pathways leading to the designations conferred by the South African Institute of Tax Practitioners (SAIT). The first option is to obtain a Bachelor of Tax Degree. The second option is to obtain a Bachelor of Accounting Degree (or any other relevant Degree such as a law degree or a degree in management accounting), followed by a postgraduate qualification in taxation. In both instances, after three years’ of work experience in tax you can become a member of SAIT with the designation General Tax Practitioner (SA) (if you work in private practice) or General Tax Professional (SA) (if you work in commerce and industry or for SARS).
The third option is to obtain a relevant qualification at NQF level 6 or higher in accounting, taxation or law and then to apply for the Learnership: Tax Professional Level 8. Completion of this learnership also enables you to become a member of SAIT with the designation General Tax Practitioner (SA) (if you work in private practice) or General Tax Professional (SA) (if you work in commerce and industry, or for SARS).
Registration with SARS as a Tax Practitioner is dependent on being a member of a relevant professional body. These include accounting professional bodies such as SAICA or SAIPA or ACCA. They also include membership of SAIT or the Law Society of South Africa (LSSA). Tax Professionals have to register with SARS and the South African Institute of Tax Practitioners (SAIT).