Pretoria - South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner Tom Moyane announced the launch of random on-site inspections targeted at so-called cash & carry businesses.
This effort is part of the new focused approach, launched in December 2015, to combat non-compliance in several high-risk sectors, starting with the cash & carry sector.
On-site inspectors will perform compliance checks to identify registration, filing non-compliance and thus flag any suspicious businesses.
"Depending on the intention and severity of the non-compliance, Sars can impose stringent penalties on all taxes owed for the period a business should have been registered and filing. In some cases, negligent taxpayers will face criminal prosecution," Sars said in a statement on Tuesday.
However, Sars is offering relief to businesses who volunteer information about any tax that they owe.
"As such, taxpayers are urged to come forward via the voluntary disclosure programme (VDP) to avoid criminal prosecution and the more stringent penalties associated with forced compliance," Sars said.
“Our approach is to ensure all taxpayers, both individuals and companies, do the right thing. Sars would be doing a disservice to countless honest taxpayers if non-compliant taxpayers are allowed to operate without consequences.”
Sars said it believes in supporting those that try to comply.
"If you are not compliant, you should take the opportunity to put your tax affairs in order. This can be done through the VDP. The consequences will be less severe than if Sars establishes the non-compliance,” said Moyane.