The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has announced that it collected over R3.3 billion from non-compliant taxpayers with unauthorised foreign assets and income, under the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP).
In terms of the agreements reached, these taxpayers have already paid over R2.7 billion to SARS and the revenue service said that it expects another R580 million to be paid by the end of March.
“The R3.3 billion includes agreements to pay SARS following information contained in the ‘Panama Papers’,” it said.
“SARS is encouraged by the fact that more than 759 high net worth individuals have made use of the normal VDP programme since 2012 and that during the SVDP period, 195 high net worth individuals applied.”
The revenue service pointed out that the SVDP was announced in the Budget Speech in 2016 to give non-compliant taxpayers the opportunity to voluntary disclose unauthorised offshore assets and income.
“These taxpayers had a limited window period running from 1 October 2016 to 31 August 2017 to voluntary disclose tax and exchange control defaults specifically in relation to offshore assets.
“However, those taxpayers who missed the SVDP can still make use of the normal VDP process to voluntarily regularise their tax affairs,” SARS said.
According to SARS spokesperson, Sandile Memela, the R2.7 billion revenue already collected under the SVDP is a welcome boost to SARS’ revenue collection efforts as it strives to achieve its upward revised target of R1.217 trillion, which arises under very difficult economic conditions.
“This revenue will go a long way in adding much value to the state’s revenue needs. Our successes under the SVDP are also a signal to other non-compliant taxpayers to talk to SARS before we talk to them,” he said.