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SARS Seeking More Information From Employers

by Robert Lee, Tax-News.com, London

28 November 2007


South African Revenue Service Commissioner Pravin Gordhan has warned businesses to expect more requests for information from the tax authority as SARS seeks to increase rates of compliance.

According to a Business Day report, Gordhan told a seminar held by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) on Tuesday that SARS will be focusing particularly on employee benefits.

"SARS wants to know what benefits employers are giving their employees, what additional income they are receiving, what interest employees are receiving from banks, and what deductions employers are making from employees' taxable income," he told the seminar.

"More emphasis is to be placed on information kept by the employer," he added, noting that this is standard practice in a number of other jurisdictions.

However, at the same time, this would ease businesses' tax filing burden, Gordhan reportedly claimed.

"Our goal is to ultimately fill in the tax return for you," he informed the seminar.

The roll-out of electronic tax filing provision in South Africa is assisting this process, the Commissioner noted.

The report quoted Gordhan as revealing that 40% of all VAT returns are now filed electronically, while almost a quarter of a million income taxpayers are registered for e-filing.


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