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SARS tax crime initiatives

We are determined to act on tax crime in South Africa.

  • We want you to know what we’re doing.
  • We want those who are committing the crimes to know we have them in our sights.

So help us to combat tax crime in South Africa.
When they’re not paying their taxes, it’s South Africa that suffers.

Illicit Economy in South Africa

All economic activity whether or not it is legal is subject to taxation. The impact of activities within the illicit economy is a real threat to the country and its impact is enormous. 
The illicit economy ranges from the underground economy, which operates outside of the rules and regulations of the country, to organised crime.  Sometimes, well respected companies partake in illicit activities too.
The United Nations estimates that money flowing to organised crime outstripped all the money that the developing countries could devote to long-term development.
South Africa is losing a large portion of its GDP every year, to the illicit economy. This has mainly been in the form of smuggling of tobacco products, counterfeit textiles, drug manufacturing and smuggling, illicit mining of gold and diamonds, ivory smuggling and the poaching of endangered species like abalone and rhino.  

Every South African may help stem growth of the illicit economy if you:

  • Refuse to buy counterfeit goods or contraband cigarettes;
  • Report poaching incidents to SARS, the Police and the Department of Environmental Affairs; and
  • Report informal trade in precious stones such as diamonds to SARS and the Police.

Combating trade in illicit cigarettes

Illicit cigarettes are not just harmful to the economy but often also to smokers who consume them with low quality dangerous substances.

A large number of illicit cigarettes are consumed in South Africa every year. That means we lose in excise revenue every year. That sort of revenue would build quite a few more schools, roads and houses which we need.

What actions are we taking?

  • We’re increasing supervision of cigarettes exported via warehouses.
  • We’re improving the manual tracking of cigarettes in transit through South Africa.
  • We’re working with Tobacco industry experts to develop a way of detecting illicit cigarettes.
  • We’re improving authentication marking on cigarettes.
  • We’re doing more retail inspections.
  • And we’re going to tell the public how to identify illicit cigarettes.

If you would like to report non-compliance click here.

So help us to combat tax crime in South Africa.

When they’re not paying their taxes it’s South Africa that suffers.

Clothing and Textile smuggling

In simple terms if it’s a real bargain it may be illegally smuggled into this country. Beware of unrealistic bargains. If it’s too good to be true it usually is.

Undervalued imports of clothing and textiles continue to damage the South African economy. Here are some of the things we are doing:

  • We are introducing a new integrated border management tool.
  • We are increasing our inspection capability.
  • We are pursuing a common customs working philosophy across Africa.

So help us to fight tax crime in South Africa. If you would like to report non-compliance click here.

When they’re not paying their taxes its South Africa that suffers.

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