- The South African Revenue Services will reportedly be focusing on offshore assets to the tune of R400 billion
- SARS wishes to gather the maximum amount of revenue owed to them through an automatic exchange information protocol
- The exchange information protocol was confirmed to be working with around 160 countries and received data from 87 countries already
R400 billion worth of offshore assets will be the focal point for the South African Revenue Service (SARS) as they aim to gather the maximum amount of tax revenue owed to them, while also advising those with offshore assets to get their affairs in order.
South African Revenue Service (SARS) Commissioner Edward Kieswetter confirmed that South Africa has an automatic exchange of information protocol with about 160 countries and has received data from 87 countries.
According to Kieswetter, the information received includes the taxpayers' name, tax reference number, account number, account balance and the income generated from the account.
Kieswetter continued by confirming that that SARS is actively installing ways to gather information relating to all foreign affairs by requesting the information from the taxpayers directly.
This information requires taxpayers to:
- Explain why they failed to declare their foreign assets;
- Submit information of any offshore Trust that they are a beneficiary of;
- Submit a detailed Statement of Assets and Liabilities that includes foreign assets;
- Disclose all bank accounts;
- Furnish a copy of your foreign residence certificate, emigration tax clearance and where applicable, EMP336.
According to BusinessTech, taxpayers who do not submit the required information within 21 days could face criminal charges under the Tax Administration Act, according to Reinert van Rensburg.
Following reports by Moneyweb, a member of the Davis Tax committee Judge Dennis Davis, issued advice of which SARS is now heeding to ensure cooperation and maximum recovery of tax revenue. Davis advises emphasised an opinion that SARS must audit high nett worth individuals.
Briefly News previously reported that SARS exceeded the revenue collection target set in February last year. The original target of R1.21 trillion was exceeded by R38 billion by 31 March. During the financial period, a total of R63 billion has been collected.
This total includes R12 billion from large businesses and R16 billion from provisional taxpayers. SARS linked the success to a combination of improved economic activity; higher collections of company tax, especially among mining companies; and greater tax compliance.
SARS has widened the tax base by 1.6 million newly-registered taxpayers. This total is mostly a combination of pay-as-you-earn (PAYE), VAT and personal income tax.
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