South African taxpayers will soon have to identify themselves in person at their local SARS branch, should any of their details registered with the agency have changed since their last filing.
According to a report by Moneyweb, taxpayers will have to bring identification documents and will be fingerprinted so that SARS may verify whether their records correspond with that of the Department of Home Affairs.
This will be a mandatory requirement for all changes, including personal details such as changes of address or contact numbers.
Des Kruger, a member of the tax legal technical work group at the South African Institute of Tax Professionals (Sait), said the more stringent verification process was likely a result of increasing tax fraud.
“The sad fact is that there is so much fraud that Sars was compelled to do something,” he said.
While there is no set date as to when the verification process will officially come into effect, the decision to start verifying taxpayers comes at a busy time for SARS, with the 2017 tax season opening for individuals on 1 July.
Those who use eFiling to submit their tax returns will be able to do so when tax season opens on Saturday, 1 July, while those who file their returns at South African Revenue Service (SARS) branches will be able to do so from 3 July onward.