On 27 May 2021, Saiba announced that it had been awarded the status of Recognised Controlling Body (RCB) in terms of Section 240A(2) of the Tax Administration Act.

This means that Saiba members are able to directly register with Saiba to obtain their tax practitioner status with SA Revenue Services (Sars). As we previously reported, it also means Saiba members can now become Licensed Tax Practitioners without having to register with any other professional body.

Saiba project consultant Tania Lee says there were some technical issues that prevented Saiba members from registering as tax pratitioners with Sars, but these issues have now been resolved. With several hundred Saiba members already applying for their tax practitioner licences, Lee expects many more to follow suit. “A lot of Saiba members see the ability to register as tax practitioners under the Saiba banner as a way to expand their practices and their income streams, and the demand has been very encouraging.”

Saiba, as the professional body, will be responsible for ensuring that members seeking to follow this route are competent and able to provide high-quality services, that they are accountable for the work they perform, are committed to tax CPD, and are aware of their role and responsibilities to clients and society.

Many members hold dual membership of Saiba and Sait (South African Institute of Tax Professionals). Now that Saiba is an RCB, the need for dual membership falls away, though Saiba will continue to recognise both memberships.

Designated Saiba members (those with BA(SA), CBA(SA) and BAP(SA)) that also provide tax services to clients can apply to Saiba to become a Licensed Tax Practitioner and pay an additional license fee to obtain tax support services powered by Sait.

Licensing routes

The new licensing route provides the same status and authority to provide tax services to clients as the following professional designations:

  • General Tax Practitioner (GTP) with Sait.
  • Professional Tax Practitioner (PTP) with SAIPA.
  • Chartered Accountant (SA) with SAICA.

More details about the requirements to earn a license can be found here.

Resources available to members

Saiba members may feel that they lack knowledge in the area of tax, but this is not a problem. Saiba has signed a partnership agreement with Konsise, which provides an astonishingly easy-to-use online Tax Knowledge Centre. The Centre gives tax support to qualified and licensed Saiba tax practitioners, and this is a service not available anywhere else.

The Tax Knowledge Centre includes more than 2,600 tax opinions drafted by tax professionals covering the most frequently asked tax questions. You can white label these opinions as your own, and the subject matter covered by these opinions will cover 95% of the tax issues you are likely to encounter.

Tania Lee points out that Saiba members also receive access to insights, news and perspectives issued by Sars itself, such as this.

Learning outcomes

After completing the licenses, the designated member will be able to:

  • Identify the appropriate standards applicable in providing tax services
  • Promote their uniform application within a tax firm.
  • Understanding of members responsibilities when performing tax services.
  • Foster increased public compliance with and confidence in our tax system through awareness of good standards of tax practice.
  • Enhance the business accountant professional designations.
  • Understand SAIBA’s Statement of Standards on Tax
  • Be able to apply with SARS as a tax practitioner.
  • Understand the licensee’s responsibility when performing tax services.
  • Use the license as proof of competency.

To find out more, click here.