Sara Scheiner writes:
I believe that the various revenue officers are acting ultra vires and/or unconstitutionally for the following reasons:-
1. SARS is acting ultra vires - There is no provision in the Transfer Duty Act which entitles the revenue authorities to withhold transfer duty receipts or exemptions because the tax affairs of one of the parties are not in order.
2. Privacy of the tax payer - Requiring conveyancers to obtain the parties' income tax numbers is an invasion of the privacy provisions of our Constitution. A citizen's tax affairs are a private matter between that person and SARS and I have often had clients complain that their tax affairs are none of my business.
3. Transfer duty is a tax which becomes payable because there is an acquisition of rights in immovable property by one party from another. Income tax and/or VAT status of one party to the transaction has absolutely nothing to do with the other party. The withholding of transfer duty receipt or exemption because one party's tax affairs are not in order then has a detrimental effect on the other party to the transaction.
4. The attorneys privilege - If a tax payer is engaged in a dispute with SARS over income tax and/or VAT, and the transfer attorneys are his or her attorneys in the dispute, SARS then forces the attorneys to act as SARS' police and thus possibly against the interests of their own client.
Surely with the resources at the disposal of SARS coupled with the parties'[B1] information - full names and identity numbers, they can do their own police work? This is after all the 21st century and SARS do have computers.
I'm waiting for the day when I get a client with the backbone and the funds to take SARS to the constitutional court!