JOHANNESBURG - So you receive your assessment based on your love letter, and you are in total disagreement with the content thereof, what do you do? You are now standing on the T-junction of compliance and Elm. 

If you are to object to any assessment you will have to take a left on Elm where a character lives that preys on ignorant victims - Freddy!

He is born from fear and gets scarier the less attention you pay. A blink of an eye and you are chop suey. Travelling down Elm, with your objections, requests, dispute resolution and appeals I have travelled down Elm and it was sickeningly scary.

I could never understand why the ignorant inhabitants of Elm did not resort to the consumption of an obscene amount of Red Bull to stay awake! Our Elm, different kettle of fish, same Freddy. How to solve the problem? Elm is riddled with technicalities, time frames, forms, bureaucracy, submissions, additional submissions, meetings and the agonising time of waiting.

Is Freddy going to turn, laugh and accept your objection? Alternatively, is he going to drag the grotesque metal tentacles across the steel walls of Pollsmoor, leaving you with the screeching sound that cuts right down to the very essence of your soul? Here is a map of Elm and a Red Bull.

First, request reasons for the assessments. This request has to be submitted within 30 days from the date of issue of the assessment. The receiver of all our revenue has 45 days to respond. Note the reasons have to be communicated in a way that a layman can understand.

You have 30 days from the receipt of these reasons to lodge your objection. Or 30 days from the date of receipt of your assessment to lodge your objection. I would advise that you always request additional information from the SA Revenue Service (Sars), even if it is to see how in their infinite wisdom they arrived at the absolutely “ludicrous assessment” that has just landed on your table, or to have a good giggle.

Sars may request additional information based on your objection, in which case you have 30 days to supply such information. Sars then has 45 days from the date of receipt of the information to respond.

That is fair considering that they have to digest, analyse, ponder, consider and either accept or reject your objection.

Once you receive the letter that your objection is either allowed or disallowed, you have a further 30 days from the date of that letter to now lodge an appeal and or enter alternative dispute resolution.

You need to object within 30 days from the date of receipt of your letter of disallowance of your objection! Sars then has a further 30 days to either agree that the matter is appropriate for set down or to outright reject your appeal.

Should you then fail on your alternative dispute resolution, you have the final recourse in that the matter can be referred to either the tax court or the tax board depending on the quantum of the amounts.

Fall asleep on Elm I dare you.

Ignoramus rushes in where angels carry swords, shields and Tax Acts.

Willem Oberholzer CA (SA), MCom Tax is an executive director at Probity Advisory (Kreston South Africa).

PERSONAL FINANCE