Updated: May 17
SARS has set its sights on non – compliant taxpayers and has now broadened its scope for criminal prosecution in terms of a recent amendment made by parliament to Section 234 of the Tax Administration Act, No. 28 of 2011 (“The TAA”).
The new amendment to Section 234 of the TAA, criminalizes non-compliant taxpayers who willfully and negligently fail to adhere to specific compliance requirements, like submitting returns to SARS or retaining records from SARS, may face criminal prosecution.
These proposed amendments will give SARS increasingly high leverage to force taxpayers to comply with their tax obligations and remedy non-compliance.
Taxpayers will no longer be able to claim ignorance for inadvertent errors, neglecting to submit returns, failing to settle outstanding tax debts due, and responding to requests for information.
It is now more pivotal than ever that taxpayers ensure compliance with tax legislation, as a criminal offense may have severe consequences.
In conclusion, taxpayers need to exercise due care before submitting tax returns and ensure that it contains accurate information in all respects. Further, taxpayers need to ensure that all their details are updated and correct on SARS records.
SARS also recommends taxpayers contact their tax practitioners for assistance in the event of finding themselves in an unsure position regarding compliance.
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Article by: Ruan Jansen van Vuuren