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Employers must carry out their duties as agents of SARS

Employers must carry out their duties as agents of SARS

Pretoria, 12 March 2020 – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) wishes to thank those compliant employers who have carried out all their tax obligations as agents for SARS, in terms of our country’s tax legislation.
Employers are agents for SARS, as they deduct income tax that is due by an employee and pay the deducted amounts over to SARS. The amounts deducted or withheld by an employer must be paid to SARS on a monthly basis by completing the EMP201.
Employers are also required to submit an annual reconciliation declaration (EMP501) for the full year – from 1 March to 28/29 February.
However, many employers, just over 40 percent, deduct tax from their employees’ income through Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), but do not in turn pay SARS.
These non-compliant employers must note that it is the duty of SARS to communicate with employees about any potential tax shortfalls, which may be payable by them on assessment, because of the non-payment of PAYE by an employer. This can be avoided by paying the outstanding PAYE in full (including interest and penalties where applicable) to SARS, within 10 calendar days from receipt of a letter from SARS.
For employees to be able to receive a streamlined and seamless service during filing season, it is critically important that employers fulfil all their registration, filing and payment obligations.
If there is any non-compliance with any of these legal obligations, SARS will commence with criminal investigations, and lay criminal charges where necessary.
SARS’ role will be to provide clarity and certainty to all taxpayers about their tax obligations, and to make it easy to comply with these obligations.
Employers must remember that their compliance enables their employees’ compliance.
Furthermore, their on-time payment of the PAYE that they deduct from their employees constitutes a huge contribution to the revenue that SARS collects every year.
This revenue in turn allows government to provide the much-needed basic services and other public goods to the poorest of the poor.
All this is made possible by complying with their monthly and annual tax obligations.
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