Alternative dispute resolution

Most tax disputes are settled by agreement between the taxpayer and SARS, with a relatively small number of cases proceeding to litigation. However, for many reasons it is common for disputes to fall between these two stools and remain unresolved for long periods. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a non-binding mediation process, which involves bringing in a third party to facilitate a settlement between SARS and the taxpayer.

ADR is open to individuals and businesses of all sizes and will always be considered by SARS in cases which are headed for litigation. It is particularly suited to cases which are fact-specific or where there are a range of possible outcomes (a valuation dispute for example). ADR could also be used to uncover alternative settlement approaches in cases which previously have been considered ‘all or nothing’.

The ADR process normally involves a one-day mediation, facilitated by an accredited SARS or third party mediator. As a non-binding process, failure to reach an agreement does not prejudice either party and therefore there is little downside in taking part.

We can help you to decide whether ADR is suitable for your dispute and if so, assist you with the process.