SARS monitoring your bank account

BERLIN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 13:  Model Nadja Aue...

Government Gazette no. 35090 (the Gazette), issued on the February 29 2012, has fundamentally changed the access the South African Revenue Services (Sars) has to every person’s bank account information.

The Gazette gives notice that in terms of section 69 of the Income Tax Act all “reporting institutions” are required to submit bi-annual returns directly to Sars in respect of all monies “invested with, loaned to and deposited” with the reporting institution, and in respect of interest received by or accrued to any person from the “reporting institution”. The first returns, covering the period 1 March 2012 to 31 August 2012 are required to be submitted to Sars by 31 October 2012.

Accountholders may be lulled into a false sense of security in understanding this to mean that all banks will now simply submit information of all interest paid by the bank to an accountholder directly to Sars, instead of the accountholder being required to disclose the information to Sars themselves. Further reading of the Gazette proves this understanding dangerously inadequate.

Firstly, it is important to note how widely the gazette defines a “reporting institution”. Included in the definition are, for example, all banks (including Postbank), companies listed on the JSE that issue bonds, debentures and similar financial instruments and organs of state that issue bonds (government bonds).

Secondly, that the “reporting institutions” must submit returns for both natural persons and, as per the Gazette, “other persons” which will include companies and trusts.

Thirdly, and possibly of greatest concern, is the information the Gazette dictates each return must contain. Whilst the requirements differ slightly for natural and “other” persons, the issues raised below are common to both.

The returns must disclose for all persons: identity particulars and tax reference numbers, the closing balances of the accounts at the end of the relevant six-month period, any interest amounts received or accrued by the persons from the “reporting institutions” and interestingly, monthly totals of all debits and credits to the accounts.

No clarity has been provided on the use Sars will make of this information. The information at the very least will assist Sars in identifying all persons who should be registered for Income Tax and VAT purposes and the non-disclosure of all receipts and accruals (local and foreign) by registered taxpayers when making provisional payments and submitting returns.

via Moneywebtax – Sars has more access to your bank account – Income tax.

SARS can search without warrant

The Tax Administration Bill was promulgated yesterday in the Government Gazette. SARS expected it to come into operation in the next three months, it said. It contains a clause that permits a warrantless search.

SARS spokesman Adrian Lackay said yesterday searching without a warrant will be in “narrowly defined” situations.

“It will mostly be in cases of crime where we get to a premises and find evidence is being destroyed,” he said.

SARS got legal opinion on the constitutionality on the specific clause in the act from two senior counse ls, Gilbert Marcus and Steven Budlender, who found it to be in order.

Lackay cited an example in Durban where SARS staff had to stand by helplessly while a suspect burned documents and financial statements in the courtyard of his offices.

via Bill gives SARS more teeth – Times LIVE.

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SAICA extends tax offering to public

Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia -...

Johannesburg, Wednesday, 25 April 2012 – As tax legislation continues to be more complex and turbulent, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants Saica has launched the Tax Suite, a tax knowledge-based platform aimed at keeping local practitioners, advisers and just about anyone that has anything to do with tax abreast of international and local best practice.Offered to both Saica members and non-members alike, the subscription-based web product is a comprehensive and broad tax resource offering on the South African market, backed by the countrys authoritative chartered accounting body.

Chartered Accountants already have access to Saicas normal tax resources, but the Tax Suite goes beyond this. It provides a great opportunity for all participants in the tax space, not affiliated with the institute, to receive a range of services at CA-quality levels not yet seen in the marketplace,” explains Saicas Standards Senior Executive Muneer Hassan pictured.According to Hassan, no other tax resource on the market delivers the same value-add that the Tax Suite does. Not only is there value inherent in court case analyses, Tax Suite newsletters and journals, and in the business matching feature, but the Tax Suite is staffed by a uniquely qualified team.There are, according to SARS, more than 34,000 tax practitioners in South Africa. Hassan believes that the Tax Suite service will find wide appeal from both members who practice in tax, and from a much wider audience of tax practitioners. “We have already received positive feedback from the legal fraternity, and the broad tax advisory industry. There are competitive offerings,” says Hassan. “but none that have the depth of staff, or value that our Tax Suite provides. We are confident that this service will become South Africas premier tax reference site in a short space of time.”

via Moneywebtax – Saica extends tax offering to public – Integritax.

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The rich come clean

Punch cartoon (1907); illustrates the unpopula...

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Revenue Service Sars has uncovered thousands of unregistered high-net worth individuals HNWIs following a year-long investigation and has developed a DNA of these individuals that will allow it to discover thousands more.Its countrywide investigation has uncovered 9 300 HNWIs those earning a gross income of more than R7m per year or who have assets in excess of R75m who could be costing Sars R48bn in revenue, see chart. In a press statement released in April, Sars only had about 360 individuals in this income category registered.

via Moneywebtax – Sars uncovers 1000s of missing rich tax cheats – Income tax

If you are rich and under-declaring, come to Fixed Accounting where we legally help you to pay less tax.

I don’t mind paying tax. It’s what I owe.

The Taxman

So, even though I am looking at a R9 000 tax bill (eish!) I somehow don’t mind. It’s what I owe. It’s my duty to pay it.

And at least Sars said thank you. For that, it gets an Orchid from me.

via Taxman tops the pile while Telkom simply torments us – Saturday Star