Did you know that SARS has the power to deduct money from your account, even without you knowing? So now you see, even that greedy landlord of yours is nothing compared to SARS.
The SARS administration Act gives SARS the power to reach into your account, by instructing your bank, to allow them access to make deductions to apply towards your debt with them. The chances of this happening increases especially towards year end and where SARS has not met its revenue collection targets. If you are a law abiding citizen and seek to submit and pay your taxes on time, then you have nothing to worry about. But, for some giving to Caesar what belongs to him is a myth. For these people, chances are hight that at some stage SARS will dig into your bank account to take what belongs to them.
What power does SARS have:
- The Tax Administration Act provides that SARS may notify any third party to pay any money it holds on your behalf to the receiver.
- Failure to comply makes the third party (bank or even your employer) personally liable for your debt.
What is your duty towards SARS:
- In order to avoid penalties and interest it is best to file returns and make payments on time.
- Run your statements of accounts (income tax and penalty admin) to identify any debts you have towards SARS
- Even if you feel you are right, SARS takes the “pay now, argue later approach,” so it is in your best interests to settle as quickly as possible and then launching an appeal or objection. This also saves on interest and penalties. SARS’ debt collection department is a separate business unit with its own objectives. It is removed from normal tax assessments and will pursue any outstanding debts if no suspension is in place.
- Immediately notify SARS if you are unable to settle your debt (you may also apply for a debt repayment plan)
- In certain circumstances SARS can reach an agreement with you to defer your tax debt for later payment or for payment by instalments.
Please take note of the following:
- SARS has the option to decline the request.
- Interest will accrue on any unpaid debt.
- If you don’t adhere to the conditions of the payment arrangement, the payment agreement will be terminated and normal collection proceedings will resume.
It is in your best interest to make sure that your tax affairs are in order. Even if your employer withholds PAYE, you are still responsible for your own taxes. I have come across situations were employees believe their employers are deducting and paying over PAYE whereas this in fact never happened. Do you see where the danger is here if you do not ensure that your taxes are paid over? SARS will most likely come after you for your taxes not paid.
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