Gordhan slams tax practitioners

2012-02-22 12:52

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has lashed out at tax practitioners who owe over R260 million in outstanding taxes and having more than 18 000 income tax returns outstanding in their personal capacity.

“Poor tax compliance is also apparent in respect of trusts and in parts of the construction sector, and the role of tax practitioners and other intermediaries will come under scrutiny,” he said.

“Analysis of compliance among the country’s 34 000 tax advisors shows practitioners owe over R260 million in outstanding taxes and have more than 18 000 income tax returns outstanding in their personal capacity,” he said.

“If that is their attitude to their own tax compliance one shudders to think what advice they are giving to their clients,” he said.

Gordhan said since April over 230 taxpayers have been successfully prosecuted for a range of tax-related offences resulting in sentences totalling 370 years and nearly R5 million in fines.

“A further 1 500 tax-related cases are awaiting prosecution with the National Prosecuting Authority,” he said.

“Since April, SARS has issued over 700 000 taxpayers with administrative penalties for failing to submit an income tax return on time as required. These and other measures have helped increase the proportion of on-time submission,” he said.

“SARS received almost five million returns during the most recent tax season – a 23% increase over the year before,” he said.

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