Beware: Big Brother SARS is Watching!

Taxpayers beware: SARS are now going to third parties to collect information about you. They already have all your IRP 5 information captured in their system – you can easily see this if you are on E-filing. SARS have now written to all banks and financial institutions requiring them to send a return to SARS twice a year, containing the following:

  • Account number, identity number or registration number of the owner, whether the account is FICA’ed, and income tax number of the account holder
  • Amounts deposited, invested or lent to the taxpayer
  • Interest received or accrued to the taxpayer
  • Monthly movements on the account i.e. totals of debits and credits on the account
  • The first return covers the period 1 March to 31 August 2012 and the second from 1 September to end February 2013.

What does this mean? To date institutions have sent IT3s to taxpayers detailing the amount of interest earned or paid and the final balance on the account at end February. It’s possible (although not clear) that SARS will have this information loaded directly into their system and when you do your 2013 return, SARS may already know how much interest you earned or paid. Be ready for queries The other significant point is that SARS will have access to your transactions and may ask you why, for example, there was a large deposit into your account and whether the deposit is included in your taxable income. Be ready to answer any such queries so you don’t get yourself into an awkward situation with SARS. Now that SARS is getting information from third parties about you, one wonders what their next step will be. Big Brother is getting closer all the time! © DotNews, 2005-2012. This newsletter is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your legal adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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