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New Sars unit to target the rich

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The South African Revenue Service (Sars) is forming a new unit that is expected to target wealthy individuals.

SARS said a new unit would be formed called the High Wealth Individual Taxpayer Segment that would be, for the time being, located at the Large Business and International Taxpayer Segment.

Durban – The South African Revenue Service (Sars) is forming a new unit that is expected to target wealthy individuals.

The organisation said a new unit would be formed called the High Wealth Individual Taxpayer Segment that would be, for the time being, located at the Large Business and International Taxpayer Segment.

The organisation said: “This unit will focus on individual taxpayers with wealth and complex financial arrangements. We will be offering a differentiated service, as we do with other tax types, to the individuals with significant wealth, often derived from multiple sources other than a salary, and who employ complex, and often offshore, financial arrangements. We believe that statements of assets and liabilities often say more about their financial affairs than statements of income.”

Further, Sars said for there to be a culture of compliance, they have been paying particular attention to taxpayers who have undeclared offshore holdings to make them more compliant. The organisation said ever since it joined the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information they have discovered how some South African taxpayers have not declared some of their offshore account holdings.

In the 2016/2017 financial year South Africans were given an opportunity to “regularise” their tax affairs, some did and some did not.

“The information that Sars has received comes from 87 jurisdictions across the world, detailing the offshore financial holdings of South African taxpayers. We intend to undertake a careful review of the information and audit it, where necessary. In the interests of fair and efficient administration of the system, Sars will be writing to affected taxpayers to request information about their offshore holdings,” Sars said.

People who still want to come forward can do so through the Voluntary Disclosure Programme.

The announcement came as Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Wednesday lamented that they expected R1.23 trillion in taxes for 2020/2021 which was R213 billion less than what they estimated in 2020.

The Daily News