Public Officer – Your Company SARS Tax Representative

by Madeleen van Schalkwyk | June 28, 2022

You might hear the word “public officer” spoken frequently by your accountants and tax practitioners. A new buzz word for SARS.

As per SAICA (The South Africa Institute of Chartered Accountants), the following defines the term:

“A public officer is the representative taxpayer for a company, and therefore that person will serve as the face of the company for tax purposes. All actions carried out in his capacity as a public officer are deemed to have been done by the company”

Since the e-Filing changes implemented in 2021, all legal entities need to have a South African resident, who is a natural person, appointed as public officer. This makes it very difficult to transfer clients’ e-Filing profiles when you change tax practitioner and apply for additional tax products, such as VAT. The South African appointed public officer does not have to be a director, they can only be appointed as the representative. This is in cases where the entity is an offshore branch, registered in South Africa or the only director is a non-resident.

Information needed to update the details of an entity and appoint a public officer:

  • Entity registration documents.
  • Proof of address for the entity – not older than three months.
  • Latest bank statement for the entity.
  • Resolution signed by all directors/members/trustees to appoint the public officer/main trustee.
  • Certified copies of the identity document/passports for all directors/members/trustees – Certification not older than three months.
  • Proof of address for all directors/members/trustees – not older than three months.
  • Proof of address for the public officer, if only appointed as a representative – not older than three months.
  • Signed special power of attorney to appoint the tax practitioner.
  • Selfie of public officer holding their Identity card or photo page of their green Identity book with a note that says: “Update my details’
Channels currently available to update the registered details with SARS:
  • Online service at
  • Making an e-Booking with SARS
  • Visiting a SARS branch
I came across various cases where the trust registration number at SARS is different from the Master’s Letter of Authority. In these cases, SARS required an appointment with the main trustee to correct the registration number.

A note to remember that passports are only valid for 10 years. The renewed passport will usually have a new passport number. This also needs to be updated, first with the registration authority, i.e., CIPC or the Master of the High Court. After this update, SARS’ registered details needs to be updated using the channels mentioned above.

It is therefore important to always keep your records up to date. Information that sometimes changes and needs to be updated could include the following:

  • Address
  • Banking details
  • Surname
  • Passport number
  • Company registration number – This is in cases where a closed corporation was converted to a company
  • Newly appointed directors/members/trustees
  • Directors/members/trustees and representatives that no longer work for the entity.

At waucomply we will assist you to keep your registration information at the CIPC, Master of the High Court and SARS up to date. We will assist to take the administration out of your hands, helping you to focus on building and growing your business. Let us keep you compliant and avoid time delays due to outdated information and not having a public officer or main trustee appointed.

Contact Dale Petersen on 021 819 7802 or 066 165 9019 to find out more.


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