Media Release Archive – 2021

Trade Statistics for November 2021

Published Date: 28/12/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today released trade statistics for November 2021 recording a preliminary trade balance surplus of R35.83 billion.


SARS to release 14th edition of Tax Statistics in January 2022

Published Date: 17/12/2021

The 14th Tax Statistics publication will be published on 20 January 2022. The 2021 edition will provide an overview of tax revenue collections and tax return information for the 2017 to 2020 tax years, as well as the 2016/17 to 2020/2021 fiscal years.


Promising outcomes from Filing Season for Individuals

Published Date: 13/12/2021

The Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Mr Edward Kieswetter has thanked all individual non-provisional taxpayers who filed their income tax returns by the extended deadline of 2 December 2021. He also extended similar gratitude to all intermediaries and stakeholders who support the strengthening of the tax ecosystem.


Illegal cigarettes, hookah-pipe tobacco and scrap metal worth R 40-million seized

Published Date: 10/12/2021

The Customs Division of South African Revenue Service (SARS), using modern risk detection systems and working with other law enforcement agencies, have seized illicit cigarettes, hookah-pipe tobacco and scrap metal with a total tax prejudice of R40-million.


SARS commemorates 16 days of activism against gender-based violence and International Human Rights Day

Published Date: 10/12/2021

Today, International Human Rights day, as the 16 Days of Activism draws to a close, SARS held a commemorative event with the Honourable Justice Edwin Cameron as the guest speaker to reflect and commemorate this significant day on our South African calendar.


SARS uncovers non-compliance through data-driven risk detection

Published Date: 09/12/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS), as one of its strategic objectives is working hard to  increase and expand the use of data to improve the integrity of outcomes and enhance its capability to detect instances of non-compliance. SARS is encouraged by the early success, in the latter.


Implementation of Tax Directives Enhancements

Published Date: 08/12/2021

SARS will introduce changes to its systems from 1 March 2022 to prevent taxpayers who receive income from more than one source, and where one of the sources is income from a retirement fund, ending up with a large tax debt payable to SARS after assessment of their income tax return.


Oakbay director sentenced to 10 years direct imprisonment

Published Date: 08/12/2021

The South African Revenue Service Commissioner, Mr Edward Kieswetter, welcomed a 10-year prison sentence imposed on the Director of Oakbay Trading Mr DP Naik. Mr Naik was convicted for fraud and for contravening the Customs and Excise Act after he falsified export documents and diverted cigarettes back into the South African market without paying the excise and duties for import and export.


SARS warns about fraudulent refund scams

Published Date: 08/12/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is aware of a number of incidents where fraudulent or unauthorised changes of tax practitioners and / or taxpayers’ eFiling profiles have been made with the sole intention to defraud SARS and affected taxpayers.


SARS to apply for leave to appeal the judgment of 16 November 2021

Published Date: 01/12/2021

The Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service, Mr Edward Kieswetter, after receiving carefully considered legal advice,  as well as a strong recommendation from the relevant SARS governance committee,  has agreed that SARS should apply for leave to appeal the judgment of 16 November 2021 in the Arena Holdings matter.


Trade Statistics for October 2021

Published Date: 30/11/2021

SARS today released trade statistics for October 2021 recording a preliminary trade balance surplus of R19.78 billion, attributable to exports of R147.92 billion and imports of R128.14 billion. 


SARS extends filing season deadline

Published Date: 23/11/2021

To afford other taxpayers the opportunity to comply with their legal requirements, SARS will extend the filing season deadline for non-provisional individual taxpayers from 23 November 2021 to 2 December 2021. SARS is acutely aware of systemic issues the organisation has experienced, as well as the impact of load-shedding on taxpayers which made it difficult for taxpayers to file their returns.


Continued collaboration towards tax transparency through exchange of information

Published Date: 22/11/2021

Tax Transparency and Exchange of Information occupied center stage on the international tax agenda this past week with the back-to-back hosting of the Africa Initiative and OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum) Plenary meetings.


High court judgment

Published Date: 18/11/2021

The Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Mr Edward Kieswetter, has noted the judgment handed down by the Gauteng High Court in the matter of Arena Holdings and others v SARS and others on 16 November 2021, on the release of information relating to a taxpayer.


SARS welcomes the MTBPS Revenue Announcement

Published Date: 11/11/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) welcomes the unflinching commitment made by the Minister of Finance, Mr Enoch Godongwana, to fiscal sustainability, enabling long-term growth by narrowing  the budget deficit and stabilising debt, when he presented the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) in Parliament today.


SARS encouraged by results of new direction

Published Date: 09/11/2021

The Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Mr Edward Kieswetter, told Parliament today that SARS was encouraged by the measured progress in rebuilding SARS as an institution transforming itself into a SMART Modern SARS.


Taxpayers urged to meet filing season deadline

Published Date: 08/11/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) wishes to remind individual non-provisional taxpayers to file their income tax returns on or before the deadline of 23 November 2021.


Physical Impairment or Disability Expenditure Prescribed by the Commissioner

Published Date: 29/10/2021

The Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) is permitted by law to publish a list of qualifying medical expenditure that is necessarily incurred and paid by a person during a year of assessment as a result of any physical impairment or disability suffered by the person or any dependant of the person (Disability List).


Trade Statistics for September 2021

Published Date: 29/10/2021

SARS today released trade statistics for September 2021 recording a preliminary trade balance surplus of R22.24 billion attributable to exports of R157.02 billion and imports of R134.78 billion


New director of unit for High Wealth Individuals

Published Date: 18/10/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today welcomed Ms Natasha Singh, a chartered accountant with more than 20 years’ experience, as Director: High Wealth Individual (HWI) Segment.


Abalone worth R1.6-million seized

Published Date: 15/10/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS), through its Customs division, seized dried abalone worth R1.6-million hidden in a trailer of a taxi at the Lebombo border.


SARS tackles non-compliant PPE companies

Published Date: 08/10/2021

SARS has recently been focussing on 52 non-compliant companies that received R1-billion in contracts for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other Covid-19 related services.


Businessman gets 5-year jail term for VAT fraud

Published Date: 06/10/2021

A businessman who used false tax invoices in the calculations of VAT Output and Input tax was sentenced to five years direct imprisonment for fraud this week.


5 October 2021 – Destruction of illicit cigarettes valued at R20m

Published Date: 05/10/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) through its Customs division, will destroy an illicit consignment of 1032 cartons of cigarettes valued at R20-milliion that was seized at the Durban harbour.


30 September 2021 – Value-Added Tax (VAT) celebrates its 30th birthday

Published Date: 30/09/2021

Thirty years ago today, the Value-Added Tax Act, 1991, came into operation. Value-added tax (VAT) was envisaged as a more robust consumption tax to replace the general sales tax levied under the Sales Tax Act, 1978.


Trade Statistics for August 2021

Published Date: 30/09/2021

SARS today released trade statistics for August 2021 recording a preliminary trade balance surplus of R42.40 billion.


Assets of two companies attached over combined R57-million in tax debts

Published Date: 28/09/2021

The assets of a logistics company that owed the South African Revenue Service (SARS) R39-million in unpaid taxes have been attached by the sheriff following a civil judgement and writ granted by the Pretoria High Court.


Court rules against taxpayer abuse of court system

Published Date: 23/09/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) welcomes the judgement in favour of SARS in the vexatious litigation application against Mr Gary van der Merwe and others in the Cape High Court.


SARS Customs has capacity to manage border movement

Published Date: 23/09/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS), through its Customs division, understands the plight of freight forwarding stakeholders who are experiencing delays at the Beit Bridge border post.


Unregistered tobacco manufacturing plant uncovered

Published Date: 17/09/2021

An unregistered tobacco manufacturing plant that produces molasses / shisha tobacco products has been uncovered during a search and seizure operation conducted in Gauteng.


Customs officers make R40m drug bust at OR Tambo International Airport

Published Date: 13/09/2021

Customs officers of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), seized 67 pieces of calcium hydroxide used to produce crystal methamphetamine, commonly referred to as “ice” or “tik”. The “party drug” weighing 132.41kg and valued at R40-million, was intercepted at a cargo terminal at the OR Tambo International Airport.


R15m duty-free liquor recycled back on to market

Published Date: 07/09/2021

The South African Revenue Service and the South African Police Service (SAPS), with the support of the liquor industry, have uncovered a warehouse in Mpumalanga where duty-free liquor to the value of R15-million is being recycled back on to the market.


Trade Statistics for July 2021

Published Date: 31/08/2021

SARS today released trade statistics for July 2021 recording a preliminary trade balance surplus of R36.96 billion.


Media Release Tswaing Municipality and construction company assets attached over R40m tax bills

Published Date: 27/08/2021

Assets of the Tswaing local municipality in the North West province have been attached by the sheriff, as a result of a tax debt of R30-million owed to the South African Revenue Service (SARS).


48 years jail for defrauding taxpayers

Published Date: 26/08/2021

A man who defrauded several taxpayers, Khathutshelo Mashau was sentenced for 48 years direct imprisonment after being found guilty on charges of theft, fraud and contravention of Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA).


SARS to recover debt of R15m for non-payment of PAYE, VAT

Published Date: 20/08/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has obtained a civil judgment and writ of execution to attach assets from the registered premises of a coal company, Shefa Group, in an effort to recover a tax debt of R15-million.


Company director ordered to pay back the money to SARS

Published Date: 19/08/2021

The director of a company found guilty of submitting nil VAT returns while the business was actively trading, has been ordered by the Bloemfontein Regional Court to pay the South African Revenue Service (SARS) an amount of R400 853.


Sheriff to attach assets of company for PAYE and VAT debt

Published Date: 10/08/2021

The assets of GladAfrica Management Services will be attached by the sheriff after the South African Revenue Service (SARS) obtained a civil judgment and writ of execution against the company after it submitted PAYE and VAT returns without making payment.


R10-million of illicit cigarettes declared as tissue paper

Published Date: 05/08/2021

Customs officials of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) seized illicit cigarettes declared as tissue paper to the value of R 10-million at the Durban harbour this past weekend.


SARS update on filing season for individuals and trusts

Published Date: 05/08/2021

Tshwane, 5 August 2021 – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) wishes to remind non-provisional taxpayers to file their returns by using the safe and convenient digital channels that are available to meet the deadline of 23 November 2021


SARS seizes illicit cigarettes valued at R6-million

Published Date: 30/07/2021

SARS through its Customs National Rapid Response Team together with the South African Police Service seized illicit cigarettes from a number of Cape Town traders valued at R6-million.


SARS to implement emergency tax relief measures

Published Date: 30/07/2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday announced several emergency tax relief measures in response to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic and recent unrest that are aimed at helping affected and tax compliant businesses to recover and ensure livelihoods for employees.


Trade Statistics for June 2021

Published Date: 30/07/2021

The R57.68 billion preliminary trade balance surplus for June 2021 is attributable to exports of R166.52 billion and imports of R108.84 billion. Exports increased by R3.27 billion (2.0%) between May and June 2021 and imports decreased by R0.03 billion (0.0%) over the same period.


Company and director sentenced for PAYE fraud

Published Date: 27/07/2021

A company and its director were convicted for PAYE fraud for claiming a false PAYE credit of R 5.7 million.


Media Release: Customs officers make massive bust of rhino horn weighing 160kg

Published Date: 17/07/2021

Tshwane, 17 July 2021 – Customs officers of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) seized 32 pieces of rhino horn, weighing 160kg, at a cargo transit shed at the OR Tambo International Airport earlier today.


Annual Carbon Tax accounts and payments now due

Published Date: 09/07/2021

The annual carbon tax accounts and payments in respect of the 2020 tax period, which started on 1 January 2020 and ended on 31 December 2020, are now due.


SARS / Private Sector Authorised Economic Operator Stakeholder Group

Published Date: 09/07/2021

SARS and Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) are pleased to announce the formation of the SARS Private Sector Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) Stakeholder Group.


IRS Criminal Investigation and SARS join forces to fight international crimes

Published Date: 06/07/2021

The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) and the South African Revenue Service (SARS) enforcement divisions are joining forces to fight tax and economic crimes affecting both countries.


SARS and SAICA sign MOU to help capacitate revenue collector

Published Date: 06/07/2021

The Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Mr Edward Kieswetter, and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the South African Institute of Charted Accountants (SAICA), Mr. Freeman Nomvalo, have agreed to establish a mutually beneficial partnership to build capability in SARS.


Claiming home office expenses

Published Date: 01/07/2021

SARS has recently published an update on its website in relation to home office expenses. This statement serves to provide additional clarity for individual taxpayers who may be considering submitting claims for home office expenses in their income tax returns that that can now be filed for the 2021 tax year.


Launch of Filing Season: Statement by the SARS Commissioner

Published Date: 01/07/2021

It’s the first ever launch of a completely virtual Tax Filing season. There are no physical branches open for in person public engagement. For at least the next 6 weeks, as we find ourselves in the cauldron of the third wave, all engagements with taxpayers will be through our on line digital offerings.


Trade Statistics for May 2021

Published Date: 30/06/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today releases trade statistics for May 2021 recording a preliminary trade balance surplus of R54.60 billion.


SARS takes a precautionary approach in the midst of rising COVID-19 cases

Published Date: 24/06/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) notes with deep concern the devastating impact of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.


SARS destroys illicit cigarettes valued at R17 million

Published Date: 22/06/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has begun to destroy more than 2000 master boxes of illicit cigarettes with potential protected revenue estimated at R17.4 Million in Pretoria today.


SARS’s dismissal of former Chief Legal Officer Refiloe Mokoena is fair

Published Date: 15/06/2021

SARS welcomes the decision by the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) that its dismissal of former Chief Legal Officer Adv Refiloe Mokoena was fair.


Implementation of the policy directive for the Administration of the Automotive Production Development Programme post 2020

Published Date: 14/06/2021

The Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition issued a policy directive in terms of section 5 of the International Trade Administration Act, 2002, requesting the International Trade and Administration Commission to assist in the implementation of the Automotive Production and Development Programme post 2020 (APDP Phase II) in order to replace the current APDP.


Illegal cigarettes valued at millions of rands seized and destroyed

Published Date: 11/06/2021

Customs officers of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) this week scored several victories in the fight against the trade in illegal cigarettes with a search and seizure operation in three cities and a bust at the Kopfontein border post.


Review of Disability List

Published Date: 01/06/2021

SARS has noted the public comments following the publication of the draft “List of Qualifying Physical Impairment or Disability Expenditure” (the Disability List) for public comment.


Trade Statistics for April 2021

Published Date: 31/05/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today releases trade statistics for April 2021 recording a trade balance surplus of R51.24 billion.


9th Meeting of the Africa initiative

Published Date: 28/05/2021

The Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (SARS) Mr Edward Kieswetter was speaking at the 9th meeting of the Africa Initiative which took place online from 26-28 May 2021, as part of Africa month. The conference also coincided with the launch of the “Tax Transparency in Africa 2021: Africa Initiative Progress Report”.


SARS urges employers to stick to deadline

Published Date: 25/05/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) urges all employers to comply with their legal obligations regarding the annual Employers Filing Season by the deadline of 31 May to avoid penalties, interest and / or criminal charges.


SARS concerned as another Tax Practitioner sentenced for VAT non-compliance

Published Date: 21/05/2021

A Tax Practitioner, who tried to dodge his first court appearance but was later arrested, has been sentenced in the Bloemfontein Regional Court to 24 months imprisonment suspended in full for three years for 48 VAT offences.


SARS and NPA: Joint media statement on prioritising tax crime

Published Date: 14/05/2021

The Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) – Mr Edward Kieswetter, and the National Director for Public Prosecution (NDPP), Advocate Shamila Batohi, have agreed to further enhance collaboration and deal with key challenges of tax crime and non-compliance, eroding the tax revenue base and the integrity of the tax system.


SARS notes legal action by union partner Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA)

Published Date: 14/05/2021

The South African Revenue Service has noted that one of its union partners, the Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) has opted to take legal steps to find a solution to the matter of salary increase between SARS and organised labour.


Trade Statistics for March 2021

Published Date: 30/04/2021

Pretoria, 30 April 2021 – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today releases trade statistics for March 2021 recording a trade balance surplus of R52.77 billion.


SARS receives over 88 000 job applications

Published Date: 15/04/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is pleased with the response to its call for applications for various vacancies that will be filled to enhance our capacity to improve our service to taxpayers and improve levels of compliance.


Illegal cigarettes valued at R18 million to be destroyed

Published Date: 08/04/2021

Various government departments fighting against illegal imports and exports will destroy 12 million illegal cigarettes with a market value of R18 million in Cape Town on Friday 9 April 2021.


SARS announces the preliminary revenue outcome for 2020/21

Published Date: 01/04/2021

SARS announces its preliminary revenue results outcome after a year of National COVID-19 lockdown regulations.


Long arm of the law nabs fraudsters after 8 years on the run

Published Date: 31/03/2021

SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter welcomes the arrest of two convicted VAT fraudsters who thought they had escaped justice by disappearing off the face of the earth for eight years.


Trade Statistics for February 2021

Published Date: 31/03/2021

SARS today releases trade statistics for February 2021 recording a trade balance surplus of R28.96 billion.


SARS calls on employers to stick to deadline

Published Date: 29/03/2021

SARS urges all employers to comply with their legal obligations by submitting accurate information during the annual filing season for employers from 1 April to 31 May.


All forms of rental income must be declared to SARS

Published Date: 11/03/2021

SARS wishes to advise property owners whose properties are located in South Africa and who host fee-paying guests that the rental income they receive must be declared in their income tax return.


SARS calls on employers to prepare data for annual Employers Filing Season

Published Date: 05/03/2021

SARS is committed to providing certainty and clarity to all taxpayers and traders regarding their tax and customs obligations so that they can remain compliant and to ensure that transacting with the organisation is as simple and easy as possible.


Trade Statistics for January 2021

Published Date: 26/02/2021

SARS today releases trade statistics for January 2021 recording a trade balance surplus of R11.83 billion.


SARS increases its focus on wealthy individuals and offshore holdings

Published Date: 24/02/2021

For SARS to continue to provide a customized and seamless service to various categories of taxpayers, we are establishing a separate unit to focus on Individual Taxpayers with wealth and complex financial arrangements.


SARS welcomes the revised revenue estimate

Published Date: 24/02/2021

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) welcomes the upwardly revised revenue collection estimate announced by the Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni in his 2021 Budget Review presentation in Parliament today.


Online filers have one week to meet deadline

Published Date: 08/02/2021

SARS reminds taxpayers that the Filing Season deadline for provisional taxpayers ends on 15 February 2021.


SARS Customs make a massive rhino horn bust worth R53-million

Published Date: 04/02/2021

SARS made a bust of rhino horn with an estimated value of R53 172 000, in a shipment destined for Malaysia.


Trade Statistics for December 2020

Published Date: 29/01/2021

SARS today releases trade statistics for December 2020 recording a trade surplus of R32.00 billion.


SARS extends Filing Season Provisional Taxpayer deadline for online filers

Published Date: 28/01/2021

SARS has noted with deep concern the unprecedented health challenge manifested through COVID-19 with the accompanying loss of lives and livelihoods.


SARS addresses Adobe termination of Flash Player

Published Date: 18/01/2021

SARS wishes to apologise unreservedly to all taxpayers for the disruption in services brought about by the termination of support of the Adobe Flash platform on 12 January 2021.


Former SARS Customs officer sentenced to an effective six years for corruption

Published Date: 15/01/2021

A former SARS Customs officer was this week sentenced to an effective six years in prison on two counts of corruption by the Musina Magistrate’s court.


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