Professional Public Officers for Your Company
Does your company need a Public Officer? GIA offers a simple, professional solution to your businesses legal and tax requirements.
Many people and businesses don’t know what a public officer is, so let’s have a look at the definition: A Public officer is elected or appointed to represent a company on tax and compliance issues and is answerable for all actions on behalf of the company. Every company conducting business or operating an office in South Africa must at all times be represented by a public officer. It makes sense to use GIA as your company’s Public Officer because we are the leading Offshore specialist company representing fortune of top 500 international companies and have expert knowledge of the South African legislative and financial landscape.
The Tax Administration Act 2011 (the TAA) sets out the requirements for the public officer of a company. A public officer is an individual who is residing in South Africa and must be a registered taxpayer with SARS. The individual representative who is approved by SARS must be a senior official of the company. Should the company not have a senior official residing in South Africa, then any suitable person can fulfill this role.
Furthermore the individual must be duly appointed as the public officer by the directors of the company within one month after it begins to carry on business or acquires an office in South Africa.
The public officer is responsible for all acts, matters or things relating to the company under the various tax Acts.
These duties could include the following:
attending to the various tax registrations such as VAT, payroll taxes, Customs and Excise;
attending to all tax matters of the entity, including submission of the tax returns for VAT, employees’ tax, employee tax reconciliations, income tax, dividends tax and provisional taxes;
the individual is also responsible for the timeous payment of taxes due to SARS; and
notifying SARS of any change of the registered particulars such as registered address, year-end change, name change and verifying bank details.
When it happens that the senior official or director who is appointed as the public officer resigns from the company, a new public officer must be appointed and SARS must be notified of the change within 21 business days of it taking effect.
Another practical aspect that is often overlooked occurs in circumstances when the company is no longer required to be registered for a tax type or ceases trading completely. It is also the duty of the public officer to attend to the necessary deregistration for the relevant tax types with SARS. It is important to bear in mind that even when a company has been finally deregistered by the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission, its tax registrations with SARS are not automatically terminated.
In conclusion, it is important that the company at all times has a duly appointed person fulfilling the duties required of a public officer.