SARS is fining taxpayers who didn’t review their auto-assessments

 ·21 Feb 2022

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has announced that a once-off admin penalty will be imposed on taxpayers who failed to review auto-assessments.

In a note on Monday (21 February), the revenue collector said that the penalties will apply to two groups of taxpayers:

  • Taxpayers that were selected for auto assessment and failed to accept, decline, or edit and then file their return after SARS issued an original based on estimated return (auto).
  • All provisional and non-provisional taxpayers that were not auto assessed and submitted a return post-filing season and pre-imposition of the recurring admin penalty.

“Just like the Personal Income Tax (PIT) outstanding return recurring admin penalty, the once-off admin penalty can be adjusted or cancelled,” it said. “As part of the admin penalty process, SARS will adjust the admin penalty amount if there’s any change to the taxable income where a once-off admin penalty was already imposed.”

It added that:

  • The change in the taxable income may be because of a revised declaration, a dispute (NOO/NOA) against the rejected or edited return and is allowed or partially allowed leading to the taxable income being different to the initial taxable income utilised to determine the once-off admin penalty amount.
  • A penalty adjustment letter will be issued to the taxpayer to inform the Taxpayer of the admin penalty adjustment.

“If it has been determined that SARS has erroneously imposed the once-off admin penalty on taxpayers, SARS will cancel the admin penalty transactions and related debt and update taxpayer’s admin penalty account,” it said.

Read: South Africa’s tax base is shrinking

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