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News & Press: Opinion

SARS takes aim at 'reluctant taxpayers'

30 September 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Ingé Lamprecht
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Author: Ingé Lamprecht (Moneyweb)

Wants wider information gathering powers.

Proposed statutory amendments to widen the information gathering powers of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) could have significant time and cost implications for taxpayers.

There are also concerns that it may infringe on taxpayers’ rights in specific cases.

The Tax Administration Act (TAA) that was introduced on October 1 2012 allows Sars to require a taxpayer or third party (for example a bank, medical aid or pension fund) to submit "relevant material” for administration purposes within a reasonable period.

In practice this means that SARS may request supporting documents during a tax audit or when verifying information supplied in a tax return, Wessel Smit, member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountant’s (SAICA) National Tax Committee, explains. This could include tax certificates, proof of deductions, retirement annuity certificates and medical certificates amongst others.

Proposed amendments to the TAA aim to widen this request for relevant material to include any information or document that "in the opinion of Sars is foreseeably relevant”.

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