What Does Public Officer Mean?

3rd August 2022

The term ‘public officer’ might sound rather innocuous, but when you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that the person holding this office carries a heavy load, which is why the question is often asked; what does public officer mean?

As far as the South African Revenue Services (SARS) is concerned, the person who fulfils the role of public officer needs to be senior official of the company who lives in South Africa, or, if no senior official resides in South Africa, Kilgetty Statutory Services is able to provide a public officer.

That is, if all the directors of a company incorporated in South Africa aren’t currently residents of South Africa. Alternatively, SARS may accept another suitable person in the company.

Now we’re getting the picture of just how important a role the public officer of any company plays, especially with SARS involved with approving or disapproving of someone being appointed for the position.

What does public officer mean?

As far as SARS is concerned, the public officer of any company is the tax face of the company, acting as the sole representative taxpayer for the company, and being responsible for all tax-related issues for the company.

Whatever the public officer does or doesn’t do is considered to have been done by the company, such is the weight carried by the individual acting in this capacity.

In fact, it is so important for every company to appoint a public officer, that if they haven’t notified SARS of the appointment within one month of starting to conduct business, or having acquired business premises in South Africa, the company will be subjected to an administrative non-compliance penalty, which will continue until a public officer is appointed.

Alternatively, the Commissioner has the power to designate a director, company secretary, or member (in respect of a close corporation) as the public officer, until the company appoints one themselves.

What does a public officer do?

The public officer of a company is responsible for all the tax affairs of a company, which includes every duty that is expected to be carried out by your company.

These duties include but aren’t limited to:

  • The submission of annual tax returns
  • The submission of provisional tax returns
  • Your registration as an employer
  • Your registration as a taxpayer
  • Submission of employees’ tax monthly declarations & annual returns
  • Notifying SARS of address changes
  • Acceptance of any notices served by SARS against your company
  • Registering for Income Tax, VAT, PAYE, UIF and SDL
  • Deregistration of the above should this be necessary
  • Payment of all tax due to SARS on time. Failure to pay these taxes on time will lead to penalties.

How can Kilgetty Public Officer Services be of assistance

When you think about anything to do with company secretarial services, administrative services and corporate services, and how much time and money you could be saving by outsourcing any of these services, then you’ll understand the full extent of how much assistance Kilgetty public officer services can offer you.

This team has the knowledge, skill and expertise that makes them industry leaders, especially when it comes to offering flexible, tailored services that help your company to comply with its statutory obligations, in a proactive and efficient manner.

With 2 offices, one in Cape Town and one in Gauteng, Kilgetty Statutory Services is always available to troubleshoot any problems you may be facing, whether you’re a small start-up or a JSE listed entity.

Contact Kilgetty today to find out more about how they can streamline your statutory obligations, and cut costs at a time when we all need it most.