The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has warned non-compliant taxpayers and traders that it will act firmly and professionally with them. SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter has highlighted enforcement actions across various industries.

The offences, include VAT fraud amounting to R5 billion, understatement in income tax declarations amounting to another R4 billion, as well as custom offences.

SARS says it has been investigating various non-compliance activities in the fuel industry and has to date raised assessments in excess of R2 billion.

Kieswetter says they are also investigating fuel refund claims of over R1 billion from major licensed distributors.

Tax breaks welcomed

On Wednesday, SARS welcomed the tax breaks in the latest budget. Kieswetter says he was not at all surprised by the announcement that there would be no major tax increases this year.

Kieswetter was responding to the tabling of the budget by Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni.

“I think the decision in the treasury family is that there is every intention to provide tax relief and not increase taxes. We’ve reached the point where we believe that tax generally is a blunt instrument and by just raising taxes now, you don’t get a better outcome – in fact you get a worse outcome because you take money out of the economy that could be doing other things and have multiplier effects and secondly you also begin to negatively impact on compliance culture.”

In video below, Billy Joubert of Deloitte Africa discusses the tax relief annouced in the Budget by Finance Minister: