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SARS launches Business Outreach Programme In Run Up To Tax Deadline

by Robert Lee, Tax-News.com, London

24 September 2007


The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has intensified its services and operations for taxpayers by visiting large employers, to assist employees with completing their income tax returns.

These extended services are part of a broad outreach and service campaign that will increase the tax authority’s interaction with taxpayers until the 31 October 2007 Filing Season deadline for the submission of Income Tax Returns.

SARS has been encouraged by the submission rate of returns to date, since about 5 million newly designed and simplified tax forms were issued to taxpayers from July this year. There has also been increased use of the electronic submission facility.

As of 17 September 2007, over one million returns have been submitted to SARS, and around 50,000 of these were submitted through e-filing.

SARS stated that a year-to-date comparison indicates a much higher rate of submission of tax returns, vindicating its public awareness campaign. However, the department intends to heighten enforcement actions for outstanding returns, and will be checking that taxpayers have made full disclosures.

"SARS will over this period, continue to act against taxpayers who have outstanding returns from previous years," the tax service warned, adding that it will focus its enforcement capability on this issue with the cooperation of other law enforcement agencies.


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