We all know that if you want to respond to tenders in South Africa, whether in the public or private sector, you have to submit an original Tax Clearance Certificate together with your tender response. This Tax Clearance Certificate also needs to be valid.
Currently it is very time consuming to obtain a Tax Clearance Certificate. The reason for this is the fact that you have to visit a SARS branch in order to obtain original and valid copies of your company’s Tax Clearance Certificate. Those of you who have visited a SARS branch anywhere in South Africa will know that it can be a challenge to get in and out quickly. More often than not, you will end up waiting in line for a very long time!
SARS has noticed this shortcoming and has introduced a new system. The system is called the fully-enhanced Tax Compliance Status (TCS) system and it was introduced on 18 April 2016.
This system enables you to:
- Request your Tax Compliance Status online via eFiling. This includes a unique PIN which you can provide to a third party who is able to verify your tax compliance status either via eFiling or at a SARS branch.
- Print a Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) via eFiling if your tax compliance status request is processed and you are tax compliant.
- Request your tax compliance status via a SARS branch and receive a PIN, or if required a printed TCC, where the SARS agent will be able to print or email the TCS PIN or TCC to you.
The good news is that you will no longer be required to wait for hours at a SARS office to receive original copies of your Tax Clearance Certificate. How foolproof this system is going to be, only time will tell. However, for now we are happy that SARS is moving forward.
As far as it will affect the tender process and tender response forms, we will have to wait and see. The Standard Bidding Documents of Government will have to be adjusted to accommodate the new requirements. For more information, see the Guide to the Tax Compliance Status functionality on eFiling.
Until next time – happy tendering.