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Big SARS tax deadline is coming – here’s how it will go after South Africans that don’t pay up

| Legislation

The South African Revenue Services (SARS) has urged all taxpayers to submit outstanding tax returns and pay all tax due by 31 March or face heavy penalties.

“Taxpayers, both individuals and businesses, are required to fully tax compliant through on-time submission of returns and payments,” the revenue collector said.

“In instances where taxpayers are not compliant and have outstanding tax debt, the debt management department is committed to assisting businesses and individuals to become fully compliant.”

SARS said that if you are not currently able to pay your tax debt, it is important to contact it without delay.

It added that in certain circumstances it may be possible to reach an agreement with you to defer your tax debt for later payment or for payment by instalments.

What if I don’t pay my tax? 

SARS said it is a criminal offence not to submit a tax return when it is due, and can be a criminal offence not to pay.

It added that it has a number of debt collection options at its disposal, including:

  • Collecting the debt from someone who holds money on your behalf i.e. third-party appointments, employer, bank or customer;
  • Issuing a judgement and have your name blacklisted;
  • Attaching and selling your assets;
  • Obtaining a preservation order in respect of your assets;
  • If you hold assets off-shore, an order can be obtained compelling the assets to be repatriated to South Africa and in the interim your right to trade or to travel can be restrained;
  • Liquidate or sequestrate your estate.

“If you are not in agreement with your tax debt, you may lodge a dispute,” SARS said.

“Even though you are disputing the tax debt you remain under an obligation to pay the debt whilst your dispute is being handled.

“Application for suspension of payment may be requested while the dispute is being dealt with. Interest will accrue on any unpaid debt.”


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