SARS changes – take note of changes impacting your business from 1 October 2012

Recent Tax changes you should be aware of which came into force on 1 October 2012:

1.  Should SARS require an interview with a person (as required by the new Tax Administration
Act), the person may decline such interview if he/she has to travel more than 200 kilometres from his/her residence or usual place of business to the designated place set for the interview.

2.  When SARS is conducting an audit, the SARS officials must provide the taxpayer with updates of the audit process –  within 90 days from the start of the audit and every 90 day intervals thereafter until concluded. The report must also state the specific description of the audit, stage of completion and relevant material still required from the taxpayer.

3.  SARS now defines Electronic form of taxpayer records, books of accounts and documents required to be maintained and stored for SARS purposes – These provisions are supplemented by current provisions in force by other Acts (eg. VAT Act).

These include:

  – The acceptable electronic form of the records can be produced by the taxpayer.

  – The records must be readily accessible from RSA.
(locality of records must not affect its access)

  – The form of the records must be maintained and stored by the taxpayer in all aspects until prescription lapses.
(If electronic form not in commonly recognisable form (ie Pastel or VIP), the taxpayer must explain the system and its processes)

4.  Non-Compliance penalties – fixed amount penalty. Should taxpayers not comply with SARS’ deadlines for submission of their income tax returns, SARS will automatically levy monthly Administrative penalties for non-compliance ranging from R250 to R16 000 depending on the taxpayer’s most recent taxable income per SARS system. Penalties for other “non-compliance offenses” will be implemented in stages during the course of the year.

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