n SA Mercantile Law Journal = SA Tydskrif vir Handelsreg - The power to search and seize without a warrant under the Tax Administration Act

Volume 24, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1015-0099
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2185



The controversial Tax Administration Act (TAA) was passed by the National Assembly in November 2011 and came into effect on 1 October 2012. It is designed to align into a single piece of legislation the administration of various tax Acts and promote their efficient and effective administration. It imposes obligations on a wide range of persons - taxpayers, non-taxpayers, representative taxpayers, registered tax practitioners, withholding agents, a responsible third party, shareholders, employers, vendors, and, generally, any person in possession or control of information or relevant material pertaining to a taxpayer's affairs. In certain defined instances, ss 62 and 63 of the TAA empower the South African Revenue Service (SARS) to conduct search and seizure operations without a warrant. This it can do with the assistance of the South African Police Service (SAPS). The TAA makes no provision for judicial or other oversight relating to the exercise of this power vested in the hands of an administrative functionary within an organ of state.

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