Johannesburg - The South African Revenue Service (Sars) said on Thursday it is going to turn up the heat on non-compliant taxpayers this year.
Sars Commissioner Oupa Magashule officially launched the 2010 tax season for individuals and trusts on Thursday.
Sars launched heftier penalties for non-compliant taxpayers during October last year. About one million notices have been issued to repeat offenders since then. But Magashule said the response has been "disappointing."
"We have collected about R16m from offenders. But we've warned those repeat offenders who have not paid. From September, we'll appoint agents to collect this money on our behalf. We'll go to your employer and use an IT88 to take money directly from your salary or from your bank. We're giving them another three months. In September, we're firing the gun," Magashule said.
However, Magashule also said tax compliance has improved.
"Voluntary compliance grew by 21% year on year during recession time. That's a milestone," said Magashule.
Sars collected R8.4bn more than they had anticipated last year. "Despite the economic downturn in the past year we experienced a drop in revenue but compared to the rest of the world we were better off," stated Magashule.
He also said Sars has noted an increase in the number of electronic returns received compared with manual returns.
"93% of tax returns received in the last tax season were returned electronically. We've also managed to reduce the average turnaround time for processing a return from an average 55 days in 2006 to an average of just 1.8 days."
This year, the employer pay-as-you-earn reconciliation submission deadline was May 31. The postal return submission deadline for all provisional and non-provisional taxpayers is September 30.
Sars also said the electronic submission deadline for non-provisional taxpayers is 26 November, while January 30 2011 is the deadline for provisional taxpayers.
- I-Net Bridge