Tax fraudsters come out to prey
02 July 2015
Posted by: Author: Masego Rahlaga
Author: Masego Rahlaga (Eyewitness News)
SARS says the activities of syndicates become particularly prevalent towards the tax season deadline.
The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has warned taxpayers about fraudulent emails and messages, asking people for their bank account numbers, which usually do the rounds during the tax season.
SARS says over the years, there has been an increase in fraud cases involving personal income tax returns, where so-called tax consultants, promise clients substantial tax refunds in return for a cut of the refunded sum.
The revenue service says the activities of the suspected syndicates become particularly prevalent towards the tax season deadline.
Commissioner Tom Moyane says South Africans should be cautious because a refund is not always guaranteed.
"Certainly there are scams that are out there. We’d like to educate our people so that they should not become victims of nefarious people who are there to take even the little amount of money that remains in their accounts.”
The revenue service says it will never ask for any tax payer’s identity details or banking information over the phone or via email.
The 2015 tax season officially started on Wednesday.
SARS said its target for the 2015 tax season is set at R1,1 trillion.
According to the revenue’s records, almost 30,000 taxpayers have submitted their returns via e-filing since the commencement of the season at midnight on Tuesday, while 7,300 others visited SARS branches and mobile tax units across the country.
SARS has increased the threshold for taxpayers who don’t need to submit their returns from R250,000 in 2014 to R350,000 this year.
This means taxpayers whose annual salary is below R350,000 may be exempt from submitting their returns.
The deadline for manual submissions is 30 September, while taxpayers who prefer e-filing have until 27 November to complete the process.
This article first appeared on ewn.co.za.