Since the commencement of the Voluntary Disclosure Programme (VDP), the SARS VDP unit has received in excess of 18 000 VDP applications. The majority of these applications were received on 31 October 2011, which was the last day of the VDP window period. All applications that were filed in the prescribed way up until the last day were successfully recorded on the VDP register.
Due to the high number of VDP applications received, the processing time is slower than planned. However, additional resources have been put in place and the unit is currently processing at maximum capacity. But the overall processing remains lower than intended in particular in relation to applications that were submitted towards the end of the VDP period. In this regard, please note the following important aspects:
The processing time for applications that were received towards the end of the VDP period is currently around 12 - 14 months
It is not necessary to request re-confirmation of VDP applications. If the eFiling system or SARS branch VDP capture point recognised the application, then the application is on the VDP register and will be processed
The applicant (or the representative) will be contacted when the application is allocated to a VDP evaluator for processing. Additional or outstanding supporting documentation can then be submitted
A VDP application can at any time be cancelled by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Outstanding tax returns that relate to a VDP application can be submitted to SARS through normal channels at any time before the VDP application is processed. If the return is assessed by SARS before the VDP application is processed, interest and penalties that are eligible for VDP relief will be waived when the VDP application is processed and a VDP agreement concluded. The SARS debt collection division is aware of this and will refrain from instituting collection steps on eligible interest and penalties until the VDP application is finalised.
Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.