Taxman targets evaders’ bank accounts

2010-07-02 12:06

The taxman will deduct tax and penalties owed directly from taxpayers’ bank

accounts or salaries if they fail to comply with the law by next month.

Oupa Magashula, commissioner of the South

African Revenue Service (Sars), said Sars would be lenient on people who came

forward before it reached the point where it had to deduct from taxpayers’

salaries.

“Where a taxpayer makes an honest mistake, they should be provided

with an opportunity to correct the mistake and be treated leniently.

But where a

taxpayer deliberately and knowingly evades tax, and seeks to hide from Sars for

as long as possible, they should face the full might of the law.”

Magashula said the full amount would be

deducted because those who had not complied would have received letters giving

them an opportunity to come forward.

According to Sars’s chief operating officer, Barry Hore, it was the last

step Sars could take after taxpayers had ignored them since January.

Last opportunity
Magashula said: “These taxpayers have one last opportunity to avoid

this severe action – and that is to contact Sars urgently to arrange submission

of all outstanding returns and to pay all outstanding penalties.”

This is part of new administrative policies that were announced by

Sars in October last year.

Taxpayers who have had outstanding returns for many

years received monthly penalties and were given a period in which to submit

outstanding returns and avoid penalties.

In January, 230 000 taxpayers were issued with penalties ranging

from R250 per month per return to over R16 000 per month per return, depending

on the income of the individual.

The total of the first month’s penalties were

around R130 million.

Since the first penalties were issued, the following was

achieved:


» Approximately 60 000

outstanding returns were submitted in respect of 2007 and 2008 years of

assessment.


» Approximately 20 000 penalty

payments have been received to the value of R16 million.


» Approximately 8 800 requests

for remission have been received and about 8 000 approved.

However, since January, almost a million penalty notices and

reminders were sent to taxpayers, but Magashula said the majority had not yet

complied.

Next month will therefore see Sars speaking to employers of those

who have not submitted returns or responded to warnings. September will see the

start of these employees’ salaries being attached.

This tax year will also see Sars enhancing its services with e-case

tracking, electronic signatures and electronic filing enhancements.

E-case tracking will enable the contact centre and branch staff to

see a full interaction history on screen when taxpayers call, enabling queries

to be solved faster.

E-signatures allow taxpayers to sign their electronic

returns.

Important dates

» November 26 2010: The deadline for submission of

electronic returns either at a branch or via eFiling for non-provisional

taxpayers (both individuals and trusts).

» September 30 2010: The deadline for all

taxpayers who choose to submit postal returns.

» January 30 2011: The deadline for submission of

electronic returns either at a branch or via eFiling for provisional

taxpayers.



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