Explainer: SARS Plans to Use Third Party Data and Social Media to Find Tax Evaders

Explainer: SARS Plans to Use Third Party Data and Social Media to Find Tax Evaders

  • South Africans are being warned that the South African Revenue Service can make use of third-party data to find tax evaders
  • Some experts say SARS can make use of data from social media and cryptocurrency platforms to find the assets you are hiding
  • One expert says it might take SARS some time to have access to all that information but it is important to declare your profits because failing to do is regarded as tax evasion

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JOHANNESBURG - The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has once again put the spotlight on lifestyle audits. SARS now plans to use third-party information to track down South African citizens who are not fully disclosing all their transactions to the revenue service.

SARS recently stated that the revenue service managed to collect R38 billion more in tax in the past year than what was estimated, despite the Covid19 pandemic.

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Explainer, SARS, Third-Party Data, Social Media , Tax Evaders
SARS plans to fund tax evaders by making use of third-party information and social media posts. Images: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

IOL reports, that SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter says the organisation managed to collect a total of R1.55 trillion at gross.

Kieswetter states that SARS was able to collect as much as it did thanks to the organisation's compliance interventions that have been useful in finding non-tax compliant citizens, as well as, stop other citizens from being non-compliant.

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SARS could use third-party data to find defaulters

Jacques van Wyk, CEO of JGL Forensic Services says there is a lot of third-party data that can be used by SARS from credit card transactions data to social media posts to find defaulters, according to BusinessTech.

When it comes to cryptocurrency assets, van Wyk says people should heed SARS warnings about not disclosing their assets because the revenue service has the means to find them.

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The Tax Consulting SA firm says showing off your new assets on social media is not advisable because SARS can use your posts to determine your lifestyle and match it to what you have declared.

“A sure-fire way for SARS to gauge that something is amiss is to look at someone’s lifestyle and to see if what they are spending is in line with what they are earning," says the firm.

Declaring your profits is important

While SARS is still working on gaining access to third-party information, it is important to start declaring all assets and profits because failing to do so, is tax evasion, says SAIT CEO, Keith Engel.

Engel says it will take a few years for SARS to get access to all third-party information even from cryptocurrency platforms, however, when that time comes you don't want to be caught with a huge bill for evading tax.

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“If those individuals didn’t report the income, SARS can go back forever. When they get you, they will want the tax, plus interest and penalties. Then you’re really in trouble,” says Engel.

Major League DJz in trouble with SARS: Amapiano stars reportedly owe R9 million

Briefly News previously reported that the Major League DJz group is in trouble with the taxman. The Amapiano DJs apparently owe SARS just under R9 million. Latest reports suggest that Bandile and Banele Mbere have not been paying their taxes.

The two reality TV stars have been making money by dropping dope yanos bangers and music videos. They have also been touring across the world. They've been throwing parties at packed UK and US events.

While bagging all the money from their epic gigs and songs, the duo allegedly forgot to pay the Mzansi taxman. ZAlebs reports that Major League DJz owe SARS R9 million. The publication reports that Major League DJz owe unpaid company income and VAT with interest.

Source: Briefly News

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