Now’s the time to own up!

Finweek English Edition - - Cover Story -

They al­lowed ap­pli­cants to sub­mit in­com­plete ap­pli­ca­tions with nom­i­nal amounts on the con­di­tion that they would sub­mit more de­tailed in­for­ma­tion as soon as they could. As long as the ba­sic ap­pli­ca­tion was lodged by the dead­line, and the fi­nan­cial de­tails were sub­mit­ted within a rea­son­able pe­riod there­after, the ap­pli­ca­tion was dealt with fully.

Schoe­man says peo­ple should rather sub­mit an in­com­plete ap­pli­ca­tion than do­ing noth­ing at all. “The only rea­son why one would do such a thing is be­cause the risk of Sars re­ject­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion or im­pos­ing penal­ties be­cause of de­lay in get­ting proper in­for­ma­tion is less than Sars is­su­ing an au­dit let­ter.”

Crit­i­cism of the com­plex­ity and cost of the cur­rent SVDP re­mains. Mazan­sky says in 2003 the same in­for­ma­tion was used by Sars and FinSurv. Now one needs to pro­duce in­for­ma­tion for the pe­riod 2011 to 2015 to Sars, and for 2016 to FinSurv. The in­for­ma­tion re­quired is also more de­tailed and com­plex this time around.

The “all-in cost” was 10% to cover both tax and ex­change con­trol in 2003 (as­sum­ing that the funds were left abroad).

The cost for ex­change con­trol alone amounts to 10% of the mar­ket value, and the penalty on the tax side is an ef­fec­tive 16% of the mar­ket value of the as­sets (cal­cu­lated at a dif­fer­ent date) plus in­ter­est from 2015 to date of pay­ment.

Schoe­man says the turn­around time for as­sess­ments varies be­tween two weeks and sev­eral months. They have no­ticed a slow-down in the as­sess­ment process dur­ing the last month.

“It seems a lot of peo­ple have been wait­ing and many ap­pli­ca­tions have been filed in the last month, which has im­pacted the pro­cess­ing ca­pac­ity.”

Sars has re­ceived a to­tal of 323 ap­pli­ca­tions of which 174 has been pro­cessed to date (13/7/2017). Twenty ap­pli­ca­tions were not suc­cess­ful.

“Ap­pli­ca­tions were re­jected due to in­com­plete ap­pli­ca­tions, re­quests for can­cel­la­tions, ap­pli­ca­tions with sim­i­lar pre­vi­ous de­faults un­der the Vol­un­tary Dis­clo­sure Pro­gramme, and some had no dis­clo­sures,” ac­cord­ing to Sars.

Sars says it has re­ceived a re­quest for a post­pone­ment of the due date but it is not un­der con­sid­er­a­tion.

In terms of the new global Com­mon Re­port­ing Stan­dard for the au­to­matic ex­change of in­for­ma­tion be­tween tax au­thor­i­ties, Sars will start re­ceiv­ing off­shore third-party fi­nan­cial data from other tax au­thor­i­ties on a reg­u­lar ba­sis from Septem­ber this year.

“Hence the SVDP win­dow ends on 31 Au­gust 2017,” a Sars spokesper­son said.

The amounts that have been dis­closed, as well as the pos­si­ble tax col­lec­tion on the de­clared as­sets, will not be dis­closed at this point, Sars said. ■

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