SARS CRACKS DOWN ON HIGH RISK SECTORS

Pretoria, 10 December 2015 – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) Commissioner, Tom Moyane,  today announced the use of a new focused approach to combat non-compliance in high-risk sectors.
 
The cash and carry industry is one of the high risk sectors that have been identified.
 
Over the last six months SARS’s risk processes have selected more than 40 companies operating in this space for audit. To date, full audits have been conducted on a number of these companies, and non-compliance to the value of R80 million discovered. They owe taxes ranging from R500 000 to R20 million.
 
SARS has cracked down on non-compliant behaviour within the sector. This includes withholding of VAT payments from cash sales, illegal repatriation of funds to global tax havens and fraudulent vat refund claims.
 
Depending on the intention and severity of the non-compliance, SARS can impose stringent penalties of up to 200% on all taxes owed. In some cases tax payers will be charged or prosecuted.
 
SARS uses a wide range of methods to detect non-compliance, including high-tech scans of import containers, verifications against third-party data, on-site audits and tip offs. By combining this information with industry expertise, it will be increasingly difficult for companies to operate without paying their fair share of taxes.
 
SARS Commissioner, Tom Moyane said detecting non-compliance is essential to honouring the majority of taxpayers who do pay their fair share of taxes.
 
“Our approach is to ensure all taxpayers, both individuals and companies, do the right thing. SARS would be doing a disservice to countless honest taxpayers if non-compliant taxpayers are allowed to operate without consequences.”
 
“SARS believes in supporting those that try to comply. If you are not compliant you should take the opportunity to put your tax affairs in order. This can be done through the Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP); the consequences will be less severe than if SARS establishes the non-compliance,” said Moyane.