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SARS Expands Exchange Control Amnesty To Cover Extra Taxes

by Robert Lee, Tax-News.com, London

02 February 2004


The South African Revenue Service has announced that the Exchange Control Amnesty, designed to encourage taxpayers to declare offshore funds and unpaid taxes will be extended to cover other taxes such as PAYE (Pay As You Earn) and Value Added Tax (VAT).

“Where people had committed offences in terms of taxes that are not covered by the amnesty, these offences often acted as a bar to making an application for amnesty,” the Revenue Service explained in a statement. As a consequence, the legislation was amended in December 2003 to accommodate those who were reluctant to come forward fearing punishment for outstanding bills in other taxes.

“People who have evaded taxes that are not covered by the amnesty and have taken these amounts offshore may now apply for amnesty,” SARS announced, adding that taxpayers must approach the department within sixty days of making an application for amnesty to declare outstanding tax and arrange payment.

“To encourage these people to come forward, SARS will not raise additional tax or penalties on the evaded taxes that they now disclose or prosecute them for the evasion,” the statement added.

The closing date for applying for amnesty is 29 February 2004. SARS warned that those who do not choose to regularise their tax affairs under the amnesty will face “severe penalties”.


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