The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has stepped up their mission to reduce a massive tax deficit, by initiating a campaign with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to prosecute non-compliant taxpayers who have failed to submit returns.
SARS commissioner, Edward Kieswetter, has declared war on non-compliance at the 2019 South African Institute of Tax Professionals’ Tax Indaba. Non-compliant taxpayers will be met with the full force of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). The Commissioner has allied himself with the NPA and concluded a new accord in terms of which it seeks the prosecution of a long and growing list of at least 1177 non-compliant taxpayers.
This statement is to be taken very seriously. SARS is facing an internal battle to clean up the devastation left by the previous tenures, whilst, at the same time, trying to make good on a massive budget deficit and hoping to eradicate a widespread slippage in taxpayer morality. Times are desperate and SARS has no choice but to proceed on a no-tolerance basis.
This will be extended to all taxpayers, South African taxpayers as well as expats living abroad, as SARS has made it very clear that outstanding tax returns will no longer be tolerated and those who are non-compliant should expect the full force of tax law. What is most worrying is that should you be prosecuted, you will have a criminal record and that will affect you being able to obtain visa’s and work permits, or even being able to become a citizen of another country. Something as simple as your tax returns could lead to criminal prosecution, or in the case of expats, potentially derail your entire future abroad.
Taxpayers may face a torrid tax season this year, but our team of tax attorneys and tax practiitoners are well equipped to assist you in bringing your tax affairs up to date while minimising any potential tax exposures and penalties that may arise.