February 22, 2024

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A concerning trend is emerging among tax professionals

4 min read

A latest study executed by the Expert Husband or wife Network (PPN), a division of Tax Consulting South Africa, revealed an alarming trend in the tax profession.

It observed that just in excess of two thirds of tax practitioners would choose to self-learn the efficiency of a services that is outside the house of their normal scope of experience when questioned by a customer. The assistance would be done exclusively on this foundation.

This implies that, past the focus team, a massive amount of tax professionals are inclined to choose on specialised assignments, for uses of shopper retention, devoid of acquiring the essential expertise, or skills.

As commendable as self-empowerment and understanding is, in a field as specialized niche as tax, this can do very the reverse, with the only mastering knowledge getting how to tackle a malpractice or expert negligence claim should really things go south.

A person illustration is the recent well-publicised situation of Wiese (Commissioner of the South African Revenue Provider v Dr Christoffel Hendrik Wiese and 3 many others), with the judgment showcasing a clear change in the strategic targets of the South African Profits Company (Sars), by angling to implement tax collection by holding the advisors to account.


Albeit a noble rationale to present one’s shoppers with the greatest total-company suite supplying, enabling consumer retention in a saturated tax setting, these behaviour is not conducive to the client’s best interest, nor preserving the conventional of professionalism needed between the tax fraternity.

From our working experience in the market place, as nicely as that of our respected partners, it is distinct that studying a competency on the fly is not viable, nor a sustainable suggests of carrying out business in a extremely competitive market place.

Improve or go

The study even more brought to gentle that the extensive greater part of practitioners, around 9 out of 10, confirmed that the extent of their knowledge lies predominantly in personalized revenue tax, price-added tax (Vat), domestic corporate tax and payroll.

The minority, or balance, currently being roughly 9.85%, indicated experience in market areas like prosperity succession scheduling, worldwide business tax, and customs and excise.

Regardless of the restricted services most of these companies are capable to present, close to two thirds indicated their wish to increase their corporation and experience – but with no audio organization plan as to how this would be actioned, aside from furnishing expert services further than their current scope.

It would seem obvious that the strain to grow in the experience of rigid competitors is what drives many tax practitioners to acknowledge assignments they deficiency the competency to execute.


What arrives out visibly in the survey is that numerous practitioners are mindful of this problem.

They expressed a definite need to have for upskilling in these competencies in purchase for them to sufficiently help their shoppers in areas necessitating market know-how.

Read: Sharp drop in CA candidates writing ITC exam

In addition, more than fifty percent of the members strongly agreed that they have to have a lot more guidance from their specialist body with advertising and handling their practice.

The alternative

Tax practitioners are at their best when they run inside their places of know-how, and can only focus on the expert services for which they are experienced if they create their exercise accordingly.

A variety of steps to attain this target are recommended:

  • Develop a sector specialisation, this kind of as a emphasis on clinical procedures
  • Carry out productive follow management for proactive client assistance
  • Embrace a steady focus on advertising and
  • Build a strong network of exterior practitioners to whom specialised issues outside the house your experience can be referred.

South Africa is a market place saturated with a high number of tax and tax-connected practitioners, and corporations need to use this advice to rise above the noise.

If practices devote themselves to these behaviours, they can entice more than enough clientele to sustain their organization primarily based only on their main competencies. Then, referring exclusive situations to practitioners expert in all those regions will be a pain-free practical experience.

Professional support

The South African Institute of Taxation (Sait) also gives its associates with skilled aid in numerous strategies.

For example, Sait associates benefit from quite a few webinars and articles. The institute also delivers an digital tax question helpline operated by tax authorities. This service acts as a sounding board for users and delivers swift turnaround times.

A huge part of these benefits are supplied at no added cost.

About the research

More than 400 tax practitioners took element in PPN’s landmark research, furnishing insights into existing field trends.

The study invited tax practitioners, accounting practitioners, legal practitioners, wealth and asset management companies, as effectively as world wide advisory corporations concerned in all places of tax, to participate.

PPN authorized these practitioners to call out the most significant operational, regulatory and legislative difficulties expert by tax experts in South Africa.

The survey aims to enhance the degree of help supplied by sector bodies and expedite frequently-onerous interactions with government tax agencies.

Signal up to get the study effects in this article.

Keith Engel is CEO of the South African Institute of Taxation (Sait).

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