SARS encourages taxpayers to meet deadline

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pretoria - The South African Revenue Services (SARS) has reminded taxpayers that they have only two weeks left to submit their personal income tax returns.

The deadline to do so ends on 20 November 2009.

SARS Commissioner Oupa Magashula will join officials in a nationwide public engagement campaign to remind taxpayers to submit their personal income tax returns ahead of the deadline.

"Today was the start of several public engagements with taxpayers leading to the 20 November filing deadline and we are taking the drive across the country," SARS spokesperson Malerato Sekha told BuaNews. Officials will engage taxpayers at major road intersections and shopping centres.

"We are appealing to taxpayers to do their filing now because as from 23 November, new administrative penalties come into effect," she said.

The implementation date will be phased-in over a period of time, beginning on 23 November 2009 for taxpayers with outstanding income tax returns.

In the interest of fairness, SARS will first impose the new penalties against repeat offenders - taxpayers who have failed to submit returns for multiple years.

The new regulations, will see taxpayers who fail to submit their tax returns, receive penalties ranging from R250 to 16 000 a month, depending on the individual's salary.

The penalties will recur each month for as long as the income tax return remains outstanding. The regulation allows for penalties to be applied each month or part thereof for up to 35 months allowing penalties to be automatically doubled monthly. This means a person earning about R300 000 a year and fails to submit a tax return for 35 months can end up paying a penalty of close to R500 000.