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SARS Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter, has used the South African Institute of Tax Professionals’ Tax Indaba as a platform to fire a shot across the bow, letting taxpayers know that non-compliance will be met with the full force of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
For those who have been subjected to a SARS audit, it may be hard to imagine a reality where this experience can be any more agonising. If this resonates with you, perhaps consider a world where SARS makes you pay for the resources it had to expend in putting you through this ordeal. The truth is, it can.
After becoming aware of an increase in payroll deductions in the past years, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and National Treasury have engaged in discussions with stakeholders on the creation of a regulatory framework to govern payroll deductions. The proposal was open for public comment until 30 April 2018.
Despite the promising initiatives implemented under the South African Revenue Service’s (SARS) acting Commissioner Mark Kingon, its tribulations in meeting its collection targets have not yet waned, with payroll audits falling under its enhanced collection efforts to make up the shortfall.
With the wave of anti-South African Revenue Service (SARS) sentiment currently washing over South Africa, paying historical value-added tax (VAT) may be a hard pill to swallow. This has resulted in many companies understating or underpaying their VAT and subsequently incurring colossal penalties in addition to the tax payable.
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.