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SARS Combats High-Risk Sector Non-Compliance

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

14 December 2015


The South African Revenue Service (SARS) Commissioner, Tom Moyane, has announced that the agency will focus on non-compliance by taxpayers in high-risk sectors.

He confirmed that SARS has selected the cash-and-carry industry as one of these sectors. Over the last six months, 40 companies operating in this sector have been picked up by the agency's risk monitoring systems and selected for audit. These companies are said to have failed to levy VAT, illegally repatriated funds offshore, or claimed fraudulent VAT refunds.

Depending on the taxpayer's intent and the severity of the offense, SARS can impose stringent penalties of up to 200 percent on all taxes owed and, in some cases, taxpayers will be charged and prosecuted.

SARS uses a wide range of methods to detect non-compliance, including high-tech scans of import containers, cross-checking its information against third-party data, and on-site audits and tip-offs.

"If you are not compliant you should take the opportunity to put your tax affairs in order," Moyane said. "This can be done through the Voluntary Disclosure Program; the consequences will be less severe than if SARS establishes the non-compliance."

TAGS: South Africa | compliance | tax | value added tax (VAT) | tax compliance | law | audit | tax authority | offshore | penalties | VAT refunds | Africa

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