Last month the South African Quality Authority (Saqa) registered “tax professional” as an occupational qualification.
The qualification will give students specialist tax knowledge and practical experience. It was introduced following a request from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the South African Institute of Tax Professionals (Sait) in 2008 to the Finance, Accounting, Management Consulting and other Financial Services (Fasset) Seta for the development of a qualification in tax.
Ronel de Kock, head of education at Sait, says Fasset commissioned research into the need for and the potential uptake of a tax qualification.
The Big Four professional services firms (PwC, KPMG, EY and Deloitte), medium-sized firms BDO and Moore Stephens, SARS and leading law firms assisted with the development of the qualification. Sait is its custodian.
The qualification consists of three components – knowledge, practical skills and workplace experience.
The knowledge component is completed through studies at a tertiary institution specifically accredited to offer this qualification. The practical skills component can be obtained through accredited tertiary institutions and on-the-job training. The workplace experience component (articles) is obtained in the workplace with an approved employer under the guidance of a training supervisor, she says.
An application to write the qualifying exam can be made to Sait if all three components have been successfully completed, she says.