• Posted on Oct 24, 2014

In an exciting development, Qdos and TaxRadar, South Africa’s leading tax risk insurance Underwriting Managers, have merged under The Hollard Insurance Company banner. The merged UMA, Tax Risk Underwriting Managers, will market tax risk insurance to the personal and business insurance consumer.

Stef Theofanidis, Managing Director of Hollard Insurance Partners says the move makes perfect sense. “South Africa has one of the most proactive revenue authorities in the world. While this is undoubtedly a good thing in terms of South Africa’s development, tax and associated legislation is complicated, requires some knowledge and skill to navigate and poses a potential risk for both individual and corporate taxpayers. We believe that a major opportunity exists to help the taxpayer in their time of need by combining strong accounting and tax support with expert legal advice to resolve the taxpayer’s challenges.”

Historically, Qdos marketed its Tax Enquiry Insurance to individuals and companies seeking to protect themselves against fees and costs incurred in the event of a SARS tax enquiry. Such fees and costs may include payments to accountants, auditors, tax advisors and external specialists who may be involved in dealing with such an enquiry.

Tax Radar is also a specialist Tax Insurance underwriting manager, protecting taxpayers from the risks associated with a SARS’ audit assessment dispute, by covering the costs of specialist tax lawyers and accountants representing the taxpayer.

Says Theofanidis, “The Hollard Insurance Company’s proven track record and forward-looking mindset in the Underwriting Manager and unconventional insurance product space allowed us to identify the complementary nature of the exceptional products offered by the two entities. Although the two products are different, they seemed to be competing for the same piece of the pie – we identified the potential for creating something exciting. From there it was a question of exploring how we could combine two exceptionally professional and skilled teams. We believe that Tax Risk Underwriting Managers will allow for a fully comprehensive tax insurance solution that should not only be purchased on a stand-alone basis, but also sit side-by-side and be purchased together with traditional liability indemnity products such as Directors & Officers Liability, Employers’ Practice Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance, to name but a few. Individuals and businesses, where appropriate, should never find themselves without these.”

The new Tax Risk insurance offering will provide:

  • Access to a panel of tax accountants and tax lawyers for assistance in the event of a SARS' audit, from the point of the audit to the point at which the matter is finally resolved.
  • Full professional representation should a dispute arise with SARS following a SARS' audit.
  • Key tax information to reduce tax risks in businesses.
  • Bespoke policies for accountant practices and their clients.
  • Relief in the event of professional fees being incurred in the defence of an enquiry by SARS, including fees paid to accountants, auditors, tax accountants, tax advisors and other tax specialists.

“We believe that the additional responsibilities placed on taxpayers by legislation such as the Consumer Protection Act and the new Companies Act, as well as new legislation such as the Tax Administration Act means that tax insurance is likely to become increasingly important. It’s been around in the UK for 20 years already but is relatively new to South Africa. We are confident that this merger will open the door to significant growth of this type of insurance and are in fact very excited by the prospect of establishing a new category of insurance altogether”