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Income Tax Act, 1962 (Act 58 of 1962)

Chapter III: General Provisions

Part I: Returns

74C. Inquiry (Repealed)

 

 

[Repealed by the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (Act No. 28 of 2011)].

 

1) The Commissioner or an officer contemplated in section 74(4) may authorise any person to conduct an inquiry for the purposes of the administration of this Act.

 

2) Where the Commissioner, or any officer contemplated in section 74(4), authorises a person to conduct an inquiry, the Commissioner or such officer shall apply to a judge for an order designating a presiding officer before whom the inquiry is to be held.

 

3) A judge may, on application by the Commissioner or any officer contemplated in section 74(4), grant an order in terms of which a person contemplated in subsection (7) is designated to act as presiding officer at the inquiry contemplated in this section.

 

4) An application under subsection (2) shall be supported by information supplied under oath or solemn declaration, establishing the facts on which the application is based.

 

5) A judge may grant the order referred to in subsection (3) if he is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that—
a)
i) there has been non-compliance by any person with his obligations in terms of this Act; or
ii) an offence in terms of this Act has been committed by any person;
b) information, documents or things are likely to be revealed which may afford proof of—
i) such non-compliance: or
ii) the committing of such offence: and
c) the inquiry referred to in the application is likely to reveal such information, documents or things.

 

6) An order under subsection (3) shall, inter alia—
a) name the presiding officer;
b) refer to the alleged non-compliance or offence to be inquired into;
c) identify the person alleged to have failed to comply with the provisions of the Act or to have committed the offence; and
d) be reasonably specific as to the ambit of the inquiry.

 

7) Any presiding officer shall be a person appointed by the Minister of Finance in terms of section 83A(4).

 

8) For the purposes of an inquiry contemplated in this section, a presiding officer designated under subsection (3) shall—
a) determine the proceedings as he may think fit;
b) have the same powers—
i) to enforce the attendance of witnesses and to compel them to give evidence or to produce evidential material; and
ii) relating to contempt committed during the proceedings,

as are vested in a President of the Special Court contemplated in section 83, and for those purposes sections 84 and 85 shall apply mutatis mutandis; and

c) record the proceedings and evidence at an inquiry in such manner as he may think fit.

 

9) Any person may, by written notice issued by the presiding officer, be required to appear before him in order to be questioned under oath or solemn declaration for the purposes of an inquiry contemplated in this section.

 

10) The notice contemplated in subsection (9) shall specify the—
a) place where such inquiry will be conducted:
b) date and time of such inquiry; and
c) reasons for such inquiry.

 

11) Any person whose affairs are investigated in the course of an inquiry contemplated in this section, shall be entitled to be present at the inquiry during such time as his affairs are investigated, unless on application by the person contemplated in subsection (1), the presiding officer directs otherwise on the ground that the presence of the person and his representative, or either of them, would be prejudicial to the effective conduct of the inquiry.

 

12) Any person contemplated in subsection (9) has the right to have a legal representative present during the time that he appears before the presiding officer.

 

13) An inquiry contemplated in this section shall be private and confidential and the presiding officer shall at any time on application by the person whose affairs are investigated or any other person giving evidence or the person contemplated in subsection (1), exclude from such inquiry or require to withdraw therefrom, all or any persons whose attendance is not necessary for the inquiry.

 

14) Any person may, at the discretion of the presiding officer, be compensated for his reasonable expenditure related to the attendance of an inquiry by way of witness fees in accordance with the tariffs prescribed in terms of section 51bis of the Magistrates' Courts Act,1944 (Act No 32 of 1944).

 

15) The provisions with regard to the preservation of secrecy contained in section 4 shall mutatis mutandis apply to any person present at the questioning of any person contemplated in subsection (9), including the person being questioned.

 

16) Subject to subsection (17), the evidence given under oath or solemn declaration at an inquiry may be used by the Commissioner in any subsequent proceedings to which the person whose affairs are investigated is a party or to which a person who had dealings with such person is a party.

 

17)
a) No person may refuse to answer any question during an inquiry on the grounds that it may incriminate him.
b) No incriminating evidence so obtained shall be admissible in any criminal proceedings against the person giving such evidence, other than in proceedings where that person stands trial on a charge relating to the administering or taking of an oath or the administering or making of an affirmation or the giving of false evidence or the making of a false statement in connection with such questions and answers, or a failure to answer questions lawfully put to him, fully and satisfactorily.

 

18) An inquiry in terms of this section shall proceed notwithstanding the fact that any civil or criminal proceedings are pending or contemplated against or involving any person contemplated in subsection (6)(c) or any witness or potential witness or any person whose affairs may be investigated in the course of such inquiry.