Unaware of taxing rules and regulations?

The claim that taxpayers are unaware of an aspect of South Africa’s taxing rules and regulations will no longer be an excuse for non–compliance. Ignorance in regard to your tax status and compliance may lead to hefty fines and possible prison time with the new amendments that have been adopted by National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service.

Each year, National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service issue amendments to the regulatory framework to address certain economic irregularities and possible tax avoidance loopholes in which they have identified as strategies adopted by taxpayers and to improve the overall administrative process in regards to the South Africa’s taxing system.

On the 15th of January 2021, the Rates and Monetary Amounts and Amendment of Revenue Laws Act (Rates Act); the Taxation Laws Amendment Act No. 23 of 2020 (TLAA); and the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act No. 24 of 2020 (TALAA) were assented by President Ramaphosa, and promulgated into legislation on the 20th of January 2021, making the amendments into official law.

One of the major impacts of the changes brought in by the Tax Administration Laws Amendment Act No. 24 (which was promulgated on 15 January 2021) is that non–compliance in regards to your taxes will constitute a criminal offence where it is the result of the taxpayer’s negligence. Previously, a taxpayer would only be found guilty of a criminal offense for non–compliance when they were “willfully” and with intent failing to comply with their taxing obligations.

The most important takeaway from the changes made to the Tax Administration Act is that negligence is no longer an excuse for non–compliance with your taxing affairs. Non–compliance due to negligence is a criminal offence and may lead to a maximum of two years prison sentence or hefty fines levied by SARS. Taxpayers will be held at a higher standard, which serves as a cue for everyone to take extreme ownership of their tax affairs.

We strongly advise that you should contact us if you feel that your tax status is non-compliant. Our team will be able to assist you to ensure your tax affairs are fully compliant and in line with the terms of the newly made amendments to the Tax Administration Act.

If you are unsure of whether you are fully compliant, please contact us at tax@theaccountingco.co.za and we will be happy to assist you.