A recent judgment handed down in the Pretoria High Court last month highlights SARS’s intransigence when applying certain aspects of the Tax Administration Act, 28 of 2011 (the TAA).
If filling in a tax return were an easy task, South African Revenue Service (SARS) would not have a page dedicated to How to complete your income tax return. When in doubt, turn to a professional for advice, but in the meantime here are some tips for a smooth tax return submission:
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has created some nervousness in the South African tax base by embarking on an initiative to criminally prosecute taxpayers who fail to submit their tax returns. Whilst the threat of a criminal record and a fine ought to serve as sufficient incentive to submit one’s return, it is perhaps worth pointing out that submission of returns also gives taxpayers access to the Voluntary disclosure Programme (VDP), which affords acquittal from far more serious criminal sanctions.
On 1 October 2012 the understatement penalty regime was introduced to replace the additional tax regime. An understatement penalty is determined by applying the highest applicable percentage in the understatement penalty table.
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) released a Service Charter earlier this week. The Service Charter outlines taxpayers’ rights and responsibilities as well as service standards taxpayers can expect from SARS. Acting SARS commissioner Mark Kingon urged South African taxpayers to become familiar with the document.
SARS replaced the Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) system with the enhanced Tax Compliance Status (TCS) system on eFiling in April 2016. The new TCS system is aimed at improving tax compliance as taxpayers can better manage their TCS and remedy any non-compliance through the 'My Compliance Profile' (MCP) function on eFiling.
Section 1 of the Income Tax Act (ITA) defines a 'dividend' to be any amount transferred by a resident company for the benefit of any person in respect of any share in that company whether by way of a distribution or consideration for a share repurchase, but does not exclude a reduction of contributed tax capital of the company.
A taxpayer who is subject to a tax audit has certain rights to engage with SARS, which includes the right to be advised of the audit findings, and, where there are any potential adjustments of material nature, the taxpayer has 21 business days to respond in writing to the outcome of the audit.
The obligation of SARS to collect tax and taxpayers' rights are often at odds with each other. To address this issue, the Budget 2018 proposes to reconcile taxpayers' constitutional rights with SARS' constitutional obligations by including a provision in the Tax Administration Act stipulating that SARS must inform the taxpayer at commencement of the audit when the information will be audited.