Small mistakes or inadvertent errors could potentially land you in hot water with SARS – including fines or even jail time – here is what you need to avoid!

Jul 9, 2021 | Taxation Blog


A – 11 offences which could give rise to criminal liability, only if the taxpayer committed them with intent (offences that require wilfulness, where SARS has the heavier burden of proof):

Submitting a false certificate or statement in relation to returns, records and reportable arrangements
Issuing an erroneous, incomplete or false document
Failure to reply to or answer truly and fully any questions put to the person by a SARS official
Obstructing or hindering a SARS official in the discharge of duties.
Refusal to give assistance during an audit or criminal investigation.
Holding oneself out as a SARS official
Dissipating assets or assisting another person to dissipate assets in order to impede the collection of tax.
Using any amounts deducted by way of employees’ tax for purposes other than paying it to SARS
Issuing documents purporting to be employees’ tax certificates if not an employer or authorised to issue
Declaring that the price chargeable in respect of supplies is subject to VAT, where in fact no VAT is payable or charging VAT in excess of the VAT properly leviable
Issuing more than one tax invoice, credit note or debit note in respect of a VAT supply

B – 17 offences which could give rise to criminal liability, even if the taxpayer committed them without intent (offences in respect of which “negligence” will now be enough to trigger potential criminal liability):

Failure to register for tax or to notify SARS of a change in registered particulars
Failure to appoint a representative taxpayer or to notify SARS a change in representative taxpayer
Failure to register as a tax practitioner if required to do so.
Failure to submit a return or document to SARS or the failure to issue a document to a person as required under a tax Act
Failure to retain records as required
Failure to furnish information or documents requested, excluding information requested for revenue estimations.
Failure to give evidence when required.
Failure to comply with a SARS directive.
Failure to disclose to SARS material facts required.
Failure to comply with tax payments including third party payments.
Failure to comply with withholding tax obligations when required.
Failure to issue any employees’ tax certificates or to notify SARS of having ceased to be a registered employer.
Failure by an employer to deliver to any employee or former employee any employees’ tax certificate or notify SARS of having ceased to be a registered employer
Failure to submit provisional tax estimates.
Failure to comply with the payment of VAT on imported services and otherwise. Failure to submit VAT returns and special records.
Failure to include VAT in the advertised or quoted price or failure to separately indicate the VAT exclusive price and the VAT inclusive price.
Failure to keep sufficient records as required.

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