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Tax Administration Act, 2011 (Act No. 28 of 2011)

Chapter 5 : Information Gathering

Part D : Search and seizure

61. Carrying out search


(1) A SARS official exercising a power under a warrant referred to in section 60 must produce the warrant and if the owner or person in control of the premises is not present, the SARS official must affix a copy of the warrant to the premises in a prominent and visible place.

[Section 61(1) substituted by section 52 of the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act, 2012 (Act No. 21 of 2012)]


(2) Subject to section 63, a SARS official's failure to produce a warrant entitles a person to refuse access to the official.


(3) The SARS official may—
(a) open or cause to be opened or removed in conducting a search, anything which the official suspects to contain relevant material;
(b) seize any relevant material;
(c) seize and retain a computer or storage device in which relevant material is stored for as long as it is necessary to copy the material required;
(d) make extracts from or copies of relevant material, and require from a person an explanation of relevant material; and
(e) if the premises listed in the warrant is a vessel, aircraft or vehicle, stop and board the vessel, aircraft or vehicle, search the vessel, aircraft or vehicle or a person found in the vessel, aircraft or vehicle, and question the person with respect to a matter dealt with in a tax Act.


(4) The SARS official must make an inventory of the relevant material seized in the form, manner and at the time that is reasonable under the circumstances and provide a copy thereof to the person.


(5) The SARS official must conduct the search with strict regard for decency and order, and may search a person if the official is of the same gender as the person being searched.


(6) The SARS official may, at any time, request such assistance from a police officer as the official may consider reasonably necessary and the police officer must render the assistance.


(7) No person may obstruct a SARS official or a police officer from executing the warrant or without reasonable excuse refuse to give such assistance as may be reasonably required for the execution of the warrant.


(8) If the SARS official seizes relevant material, the official must ensure that the relevant material seized is preserved and retained until it is no longer required for—
(a) the investigation into the non-compliance or the offence described under section 60(1)(a);
(b) the conclusion of any legal proceedings under a tax Act or criminal proceedings in which it is required to be used.