Home South Africa The SARS Voluntary Disclosure Program has been made permanent

The SARS Voluntary Disclosure Program has been made permanent


The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has made arrangements for the Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) to be made available to eligible taxpayers at all times.

In making the announcement, SARS said the VDP will be available to individuals, companies or trusts seeking to voluntarily disclose and regularize their tax affairs.

The revenue collector said the move is in line with his strategic objective of bringing clarity and certainty and making it easy and seamless for taxpayers and traders to meet their obligations.

“SARS would like to encourage all taxpayers who may be in arrears with their tax affairs to approach SARS through the VDP. By willingly applying, such taxpayers will receive assistance and advice from SARS to expedite the resolution of their request.

“If, through its own investigation processes, SARS discovers non-compliance by taxpayers, it will not use this option for non-compliant taxpayers, but will act within the law to deal with the non-compliance,” SARS said in a statement on Wednesday.

SARS said it is strongly committed to achieving the strategic intent of promoting voluntary compliance while reducing the cost of compliance.

“For this, we want all taxpayers to understand that they always have the opportunity to streamline their tax affairs. While voluntary tax compliance is our first priority, SARS is improving its detection capabilities and making it difficult and costly for non-compliant taxpayers to comply,” the statement said.

The revenue collector said that taxpayers who do not pay their SARS taxes and want to get their penalties waived and avoid possible prosecution can voluntarily disclose their unpaid tax cases.

Tax defaults range from not paying returns, filing inaccurate or incomplete information or failing to provide information to SARS requested in respect of any type of tax administered by SARS, other than duties and charges levied under the Customs and Excise Act 91 1964

The Voluntary Disclosure Program is a unique opportunity for delinquent taxpayers to settle their tax affairs. SARS urged interested taxpayers to take advantage of this legal tool.

A defaulting taxpayer will be granted program relief if the application meets the following requirements:

  • Disclosure must be voluntary;
  • The disclosure is full and complete in all material respects;
  • The disclosure involves a default that has not occurred within five years of the disclosure of a similar default;
  • The disclosure involves conduct referred to in the table of understatement penalties in section 223 of the Tax Administration Act;
  • Disclosure will not result in a refund due to SARS; and
  • Disclosure is carried out in the prescribed form and manner.

Potential applicants can apply for VDP through SARS eFiling.

Successful VDP applications will result in an agreement covering, among other things:

  • Disclosed material facts of default;
  • The amount payable by the taxpayer, including the understatement penalty, is shown separately;
  • Relief provided by SARS under the Tax VDP;
  • Tax payment procedures and deadlines; and
  • The fact that relief can be withdrawn if SARS subsequently determines that the disclosure is not a true and complete disclosure under the Tax VDP.


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