Why Does a Company Need a Public Officer?

27th December 2022

If you’re starting a new company in South Africa, you’ve probably already come across the job title of Public Officer, and may be asking the million-dollar question; why does a company need a public officer?

Well, a public officer is a very important person in any company, and in the eyes of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), the public officer is responsible for all tax-related issues in the company.

In fact, according to the South African Tax Administration Act, no company can operate or have an office in South Africa for longer than a month, without appointing a public officer.

SARS plays such a major role in enforcing the appointment of a public officer, that the person applying for the position as public officer has to be approved by SARS, and the appointee also has to reside in South Africa.

SARS wants to be able to have one contact person and one face to put to all the tax affairs of all companies registered in South Africa, which is what makes the role of public officer one that is extremely important.

Why does a company need a public officer?

Every company needs a public officer in order to carry out all the tax duties on behalf of the company, as well as being the name used by SARS for any correspondence with the company, and for acceptance of notices, if necessary.

Every action carried out in their role as a public officer is considered by the South African Revenue Services to have been carried out by the company itself, which is a hefty responsibility that requires a proactive approach to all tax-related duties.

If a company fails to appoint a public officer within the prescribed one-month period, or fails to notify SARS of a change in public officer, the Commissioner has far reaching powers to designate a director, company secretary or member (in respect of a CC) as public officer.

When one considers that registrations, submissions and payments of taxes such as PAYE, UIF, VAT and annual tax returns for instance, don’t all fall on the same dates, it’s easy to see why having one person handle this role makes life much easier.

Some are monthly, yearly or quarterly submissions and payments, and trying to run a business, or to start one, while trying to juggle just a few of these tax balls, could be an utter disaster!

This is why every company needs a public officer; a face that SARS can recognize as the person responsible for all tax registrations, de-registrations, submissions and payments, as well as the person responsible for all correspondence, whether via snail mail or online portals.

Consider starting on the right foot with Kilgetty Public Officer Services!

Kilgetty Statutory Services is considered one of the leading company secretarial firms in South Africa, offering clients that range from small start-ups to major corporations listed on the JSE, the most comprehensive administrative services, corporate services and company secretarial services.

This leads us to the fact that you could choose to save time and money by outsourcing your public officer duties to this team of industry leaders, who bring to the table of your success the knowledge and skill required to provide clients with flexible, tailored services which keep your business compliant on all fronts.

When it comes to choosing Kilgetty Public Officer Services, this team is also more than willing and able to provide all your public officer requirements, should the directors of the company not be residents of South Africa, with a company incorporated in South Africa.

Contact Kilgetty today, to find out more about what this team can do to assist you out of their 2 offices, one in Cape Town and the other in Gauteng, where proactivity and efficiency are combined to save your company money!