SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Occupational Certificate: Tax Professional 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
93624  Occupational Certificate: Tax Professional 
ORIGINATOR
Development Quality Partner - FASSET 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
QCTO - Quality Council for Trades and Occupations  OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Occupational Certificate  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Finance, Economics and Accounting 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  400  Not Applicable  NQF Level 08  Regular-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 10105/14  2015-07-01  2018-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2019-06-30   2022-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The purpose of the qualification is to prepare a learner to:
  • Analyse, report and provide advice on taxation issues to tax entities.
  • Prepare and review tax returns.
  • Report on and handle tax disputes.
  • Formulate and interpret tax opinions.

    A qualified learner will be able to:
  • Register tax payers and finalise income tax, payroll tax and VAT returns.
  • Review or audit tax balances.
  • Mediate tax disputes.
  • Write tax opinions.

    Rationale:
    Research undertaken by Fasset in the Financial and Accounting Services Sector concluded that the tax professional is a new profession in development. Although it is closely linked with the other professions in the family of financial services professions - i.e. the accounting, management accounting and auditing professions - it has a distinct focus on taxation. At this stage these professionals are mainly sourced from the accounting and legal professions. However, a substantial number of professionals are also employed from the ranks of accounting, commerce and law graduates, who do not hold membership of a professional body. The research then indicated that there is a need for a learning path following on first degrees that leads into the tax profession.

    There is also a shortage of specialised tax professionals to serve the South African economy in various ways; viz. as:
  • Tax specialists in private practice.
  • Tax advisors in commerce and industry.
  • Tax auditors or investigators within the Revenue Service.

    The qualification serves as a learning pathway for learners who have already obtained a first qualification in accounting, taxation, law or any other relevant field of study into full professional status as tax professionals.

    The qualification will enhance the quality of tax services provided to the public by private practitioners and by the South African Revenue Service. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    RPL for access to the integrated assessment: Accredited providers and approved workplaces must apply the internal assessment criteria specified in the related curriculum document to establish and confirm prior learning. Prior learning must be acknowledged by a statement of results.

    RPL for entry requirements to access the qualification: Accredited providers and approved workplaces may recognise prior learning against the relevant access requirements.

    Entry Requirements:
    An NQF Level 6 qualification in accounting, taxation, law or any other relevant field of study. 

    RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    Knowledge Modules:
  • Principles of tax administration, NQF Level 6, 12 Credits.
  • Principles of commercial law and business enterprises, NQF Level 7, 10 Credits.
  • Analysis and interpretation of financial statements, NQF Level 7, 22 Credits.
  • General tax principles, NQF Level 6, 5 Credits.
  • Personal income tax, farming enterprises, partnerships and trusts, NQF Level 8, 10 Credits.
  • Corporate income tax, NQF Level 8, 12 Credits.
  • Employment related tax consequences, NQF Level 7, 5 Credits.
  • Other taxes: Customs and excise duty, donations tax, property taxes and securities transfer tax, NQF Level 7, 6 Credits.
  • Value added tax, NQF Level 8, 8 Credits.
  • Administration of estates, NQF Level 8, 8 Credits.

    Total Credits: 98.

    Practical Skills Modules:
  • Register tax payers, calculate tax liabilities and finalising income tax, payroll tax and VAT returns, NQF Level 8, 30 Credits.
  • Review/audit tax balances, NQF Level 8, 20 Credits.
  • Mediate tax disputes, NQF Level 8, 10 Credits.
  • Write tax opinions and reports, NQF Level 8, 10 Credits.
  • Demonstrate ethics and professional conduct in a tax environment, NQF Level 8, 10 Credits.

    Total Credits: 80.

    Work Experience Modules:
    Context 1: Private Practice:
  • Register tax payers and finalise income tax, payroll tax and VAT returns in a private tax practice, NQF Level 7, 78 Credits.
  • Review Income tax, Payroll tax and VAT returns in a private practice, NQF Level 8, 48 Credits.
  • Complete ADR forms related to income tax, payroll taxes and VAT in a private practice, NQF Level 8, 48 Credits.
  • Write tax opinions related to tax disputes, business models and investment and estate planning, NQF Level 7, 48 Credits.
    Or
    Context 2: SARS office:
  • Check registered tax payers and identify potential examinations/audits in a SARS office NQF Level 7, 48 Credits.
  • Examine or audit tax payers' Income tax, Payroll tax and VAT returns in a SARS office, NQF Level 8, 78 Credits.
  • Formulate a response to an ADR form related to income tax, payroll taxes and VAT in a SARS office, NQF Level 8, 48 Credits.
  • Write tax opinions related to tax disputes, business models and investment and estate planning, NQF Level 7, 48 Credits.

    Total Credits for Work Experience Modules: 222. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Register taxpayers, calculate tax liabilities and finalise income tax, payroll tax and VAT returns.
    2. Review or audit tax balances.
    3. Mediate tax disputes.
    4. Write tax opinions.
    5. Handle the administration of estates. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • The correct tax registration procedures relating to different tax entities are applied.
  • The tax liability of a complex entity is correctly calculated and calculations are substantiated with reference to the applicable documentation, legislation and/or directives and case law.
  • Tax risks are identified and explained, and strategies to minimise risk are proposed.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • The tax balances of a complex entity are reviewed; discrepancies between the tax return and assessment are correctly identified and substantiated with reference to the applicable documentation, legislation and/or directives.
  • A clear and succinct opinion on the assessment is drafted and relevant actions are recommended.
  • An audit plan is drafted with specific reference to the risk profile of a specific tax entity, the required documentation, the items to be audited or reviewed and the methodology to be used.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • The principles of alternative dispute resolution are correctly identified.
  • The essential elements of a dispute are identified and a succinct objection is formulated with reference to the relevant evidence and arguments as prescribed by the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • The tax position that requires analysis is correctly interpreted and the applicable background facts related to the position are identified, related or relevant tax law and precedents are identified and a summary of research findings that is comprehensive, yet to the point, is given.
  • A tax opinion is drafted and critical elements pertaining to the tax position are identified.
  • All relevant points are included in the summary of the factual base of issues/elements under investigation.
  • Critical elements are accurately reflected and their interrelatedness clearly indicated.
  • Options and implications are clearly outlined. Language usage is clear and professional.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Wills and codicils, massing joint wills, repudiation and adiation are interpreted and applied to the winding up of deceased estates for tax purposes.
  • Tax legislation is applied to the winding-up of insolvent estates.

    Integrated Assessment:
    An external integrated summative assessment, conducted through the relevant QCTO Assessment Quality partner is required for the issuing of this qualification. The external integrated summative assessment will focus on the Exit Level Outcomes and Associated Assessment Criteria.

    If the qualification is acquired in the work environment, assessment should make provision for naturally occurring evidence. Simulations may also be used to assess practical components of the qualification.

    Assessments must be comprehensive and should cover the entire body of knowledge specified in the qualification. Assessments must also integrate theoretical knowledge, practical skills and experience, ethical issues and professional judgement.

    Examinations of professional competence may consist of a series of components or parts, spread over the individual's education and training period. A final examination should be written at the end of the education and training programme. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    Background:
    The specialised nature of the tax function has led to the establishment of specialised professional bodies in several countries. These professional bodies have, in turn, established an international association of professional bodies, the International Tax Directors' Forum. South Africa is represented on this Forum by the South African Institute of Tax Practitioners.

    The Tax Directors' Forum undertook a comparison of learning pathways and learning programmes in different countries that lead to professional status. The study was co-ordinated by The Chamber of Tax Advisers of the Czech Republic. The comparison included, (apart from South Africa) Australia, the Czech Republic, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Canada.

    This study provided insight into international best practice and was used as international benchmark in the development of this qualification.

    The international study evaluated the learning pathways into the tax profession on five dimensions: minimum entry requirements, topics to be covered in the learning path to professional status, essential skills that have to be mastered, volume levels (duration of the learning pathway) and the nature of the final assessment. The main findings of the study are summarised below:

    Minimum entry requirements:
    It was found that most of the countries have a university degree as entry requirement. In most instances this degree is followed by specialised courses in taxation. Only Canada does not have any direct educational requirements for the admission to the profession but typically members of its tax institute have a university degree. In addition to a degree, the UK requires practical experience as the entry requirement.

    Essential topics covered in the learning path to professional status:
    The three major knowledge areas covered in all the learning paths are:
  • The various taxes applicable to the particular country and the legislation governing those taxes.
  • Branches of law related to taxation.
  • Accounting and its relation to taxation.

    Essential skills that have to be mastered:
    The study found that in all countries tax professionals should be able to provide financial and legal advice to individuals and corporations regarding tax matters, provide solutions related to tax problems, read and interpret legislation pertaining to taxes and act with a high level of integrity and ethics during the provision of tax services.

    Duration of the learning:
    The duration of training before final assessment differs vastly between the countries and depends mainly on the nature of the qualifications set as entry requirements and the courses that form the learning path leading to the final assessment.

    Nature of the final assessment:
    All the countries use written exams as final assessments. Countries differ in terms of the pass mark required. Most require a 50% pass mark, but Australia requires a 70% pass mark in the case studies (application component) of the exam. In all instances the final assessments focus strongly on the application of knowledge to practical situations and all countries use case studies in their final assessments. Only the Czech Republic uses an oral exam in addition to the written examinations. Candidates are required to answer questions at the "excellent level" during this examination.

    Conclusion:
    In terms of the knowledge and practical skills components, the Occupational Certificate: Tax Professional follows the international trends in qualification design and broadly conforms to international standards of education for tax professionals. The workplace component of the qualification is unique. Another unique feature of this qualification is that it provides for the training of tax professionals working in private practice as well as those employed in the public revenue service. The training programmes of other countries focus on the training of professionals in private practice only. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification may be considered by higher education institutions for articulation into the Master's level programmes in taxation. 

    MODERATION OPTIONS 
    N/A 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this qualification was Reregistered in 2015. 

    NOTES 
    In order to qualify for external assessment, learners must provide proof of completion of all required modules by means of statements of results and work experience. 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.