SARS collects over R1 billion in tax from assets held offshore

 ·10 Oct 2017

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) said it collected an additional R1 billion from 2,000 taxpayers who made use of the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP) which closed at the end of August 2017.

The SVDP offered non-compliant taxpayers an opportunity “to regularise their unauthorised foreign assets and income” by voluntarily disclosing tax and exchange control defaults specifically in relation to offshore assets.

This programme was announced in the Budget Speech in 2016 by the then Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, to give non-compliant taxpayers the opportunity to voluntary disclose offshore assets and income.

SARS said it had thus far tallied 2,018 applications, which assisted the tax body in collecting over R1,016,467,286 in revenue – or R500,000 per applicant on average.

The total tax liability stands at R1,182,734,842, SARS said.

“This collected revenue provides a boost to SARS’ revenue purse in a difficult economic period and will assist the country in its socio-economic development to take South Africa forward.

“While it was not not possible to anticipate the number of applications beforehand, as was demonstrated in the 2016 Budget Review, SARS is quite satisfied with the response by South African taxpayers and traders to take advantage of the SVDP, it said.

Read: Over 2.7 million tax returns submitted

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