New Criminal offences – Taxpayers beware!
Various new criminal offences that have been brought in by the new Tax Administration Act (TAA) became effective from 1 October 2012. These are in addition the current non-compliance and under-statement penalties that SARS have put into force.
These following include failing or neglect to:
- Register with SARS in terms of a Tax Act – Income Tax, Value Added Tax (VAT) or PAYE/SDL/UIF
- Notify SARS of change in registered particulars
- Submit a return or another document
- Appointment of representative taxpayer (ie Public officer) or any change in such appointment
- Retain documents as required by SARS
- Issue of document to any person under any Tax Act (ie VAT invoice or IRP5)
- Answer truthfully to SARS’ posed questions, attend and give evidence
- Comply with direct SARS directive or instruction
- Gives assistance to SARS when conducting an audit or criminal investigation at a taxpayer’s premises
Penalty of a fine or maximum imprisonment of two years may be levied for the above.
- Submit a false declaration or statement to SARS
- Signing of return/document that contains false information
- Preparation or maintenance of false books of accounts/records or authorisation of the falsification of books/records
- Make use of fraud or contrivance (or authorises the use thereof)
- Make any false statement for purposes of obtaining a refund or exemption from tax
Fine or imprisonment of up to five years can be levied for the above.