- The South African Revenue Service, SARS is intensifying its efforts to nail shrewd financial advisors together with their non-compliant clients.
The South Africa Revenue Service, SARS tackles finance professionals, and non-compliant clients for failure to remit taxes when due.
This renewed drive for tax collection is revealed recently by Jashwin Baijoo, the head of strategic engagement and compliance.
According to him, SARS is increasingly clamping down on financing professionals, threatening them with de-registration.
A closer look at the SARS compliance drive shows that the threats to financing professionals, including tax practitioners, and accountants are two folds.
SARS Tackles Finance Professionals, Non-Compliant Clients: More on the Move
It is meant to tackle the issue of finance professionals offering financial advice to clients while their finances are disorganized.
Also, if the tax authority’s claim is valid, the compliance drive queries how the non-compliant practitioner would get the needed income to resolve the historic debt.
Apparently, it will be hard for financing professionals to escape jail time even with Professional Indemnity Insurance.
SARS Also Targets Affluent Business People
According to Baijoo, SARS is not just targeting regular businessmen but has also started going after richer and more powerful business people.
This shows that the tax authority is becoming more emboldened and would do whatever it takes to ensure compliance and deal with defaulters.
A good example is the recent case involving billionaire Christo Wiese, as Baijoo explained that the SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter started small by dealing with a number of pawns before moving in on a king.
He further explained that if this judgment goes through and doesn’t get appealed, it will serve as a precedent for future dealings and help improve SARS’ audit and prosecution abilities.
SARS Has The Support of The Presidency
According to Tax Consulting SA, many of the proposed developments to South African law from the 2022 budget, especially SARS’ focus on the eradication of non-compliance and fraud have been enforced.
This is evidence that the actions of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) are backed by the presidency and the National Prosecuting Authority.
In the previous year, it was revealed that to help discover non‐compliance or fraud that happens as a result of the existence of unexplained wealth, there was a proposition that all provisional taxpayers with assets above R50 million be mandated to disclose specified assets and liabilities at market values in their 2023 tax returns.
During his speech at a recent PSG Think Big webinar, SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter revealed that the tax authority isn’t engaged in any form of a witch hunt but instead works with the data and risk profiles it has been assembling over the years.
He further explained that the tax body makes use of machine learning and AI algorithms to determine who to go after and this helps to keep the objective of their actions.
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