Port Shepstone businessman first in SARS/NPA prosecutions

THE South African Revenue Service (SARS) has embarked on a new initiative with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to prosecute non-compliant taxpayers, who have failed to submit returns and the first conviction from the operation was from Port Shepstone.

Mr S. Ragunat, as the representative of SPS Distributors in Port Shepstone, paid an admission of guilt fine of R5 600 in the Port Shepstone Regional Court for non-submission of more than 50 outstanding
Value-Added Tax (VAT), Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) and Corporate Income Tax (CIT) returns last week.

SARS said in a media statement on Monday, that the failure to submit a tax or VAT return was a
criminal offence in terms of the Tax
Administration Act and
Value-Added Tax legislation and tax payers found guilty would retain a criminal record.

The organisation said that they have in the past experienced an unacceptable increase in the non-submission of returns across all tax types of tax, including PAYE, VAT, corporate income and personal
income tax.

The decision to resort to enforcement of compliance through criminal prosecution was taken by the organisation as a last resort.

“The campaign marks an intensification of SARS’s Outstanding
Returns Project that was launched towards the end of last year when SARS aimed to raise awareness amongst taxpayers about outstanding tax returns,” said SARS.

“At the end of March 2018, SARS’s Outstanding Returns Book showed that active taxpayers owed SARS approximately 30 million returns, in many cases showing that multiple outstanding returns were due by a single taxpayer,” said the SARS.

At this stage 36 dockets have been handed over to the NPA.

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