The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is increasing its focus on trusts as it begins to modernize and improve its service offerings for this segment of taxpayers.

In a statement on Wednesday, SARS said the improvements are aimed at making it easy and simple for trusts to meet their legal obligations.

“According to the above, SARS has carried out a detailed analysis of the current status of tax compliance by trusts and their beneficiaries to determine whether all trusts and their beneficiaries are registered with SARS for taxation purposes and whether all trusts and their beneficiaries have filed their annual income tax returns.

“If so, whether such returns fully and accurately reflect their actual tax status and whether payment obligations have been fully met. SARS is working hard to increase and expand the use of data.”

Through this process, SARS identified a significant number of beneficiaries of trusts who received distributions but did not file income tax returns in accordance with their legal obligations under the annual public notice under section 25 of the Tax Administration Act 23 of 2011.

These beneficiaries consist of companies, individuals and foundations that must file their income tax returns immediately.

If this non-compliance is not corrected, SARS will invoke the provisions of the Act, which may include actions such as increased assessments, the imposition of interest and penalties, and civil and criminal penalties.

“In line with its strategic objectives of providing clarity and certainty to enable taxpayers to meet their legal obligations under the law, a temporary online registration platform (SOQS) is available to assist trusts to register with SARS,” the Revenue Service. said.

This platform can be accessed via the following hyperlink: SARS Online Query ( (Prod))

“SARS will take all legal action where taxpayer trusts and their beneficiaries willfully renege on their legal obligations.

“However, trusting taxpayers and their beneficiaries can still get their tax affairs in order using the SARS Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP), which is available and accessible on the eFiling platform,” said SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter. –

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