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Now Sars can penalise you if you have only one outstanding tax return

Now Sars can penalise you if you have only one outstanding tax return

As the 23 November deadline looms for non-provisional taxpayers, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) warns it has more scope to impose penalties on taxpayers who do not submit their returns on time.

In terms of an amendment to the Tax Administration Act published in the Government Gazette on 29 October, Sars will, from 1 December, levy late-submission penalties on taxpayers who have at least one income tax return outstanding.

Before the change in the legislation, Sars could levy a penalty for late submission only where two or more returns were outstanding.

As a transitional measure, the previous rule (two or more returns) will apply to the years of assessment from 1 March 2006 to 29 February 2020, and the new rule (one return or more) will apply only to the 2021 tax return (assessment from 1 March 2020).

The new, one-year rule will take full effect from 1 December 2022.

Sars has also warned that non-provisional taxpayers who received auto assessments, and who submit their simulated assessments by 23 November without either accepting or editing them, will receive an original assessment based on an estimate in accordance with section 95 (estimation of assessments) of the Tax Administration Act.

This assessment is not subject to objection and appeal.

A taxpayer who does not agree with his or her assessment may file a tax return within 40 business days of the assessment date. This return will be late, which means that normal late-submission penalties and interest (where applicable) will apply, Sars says.

Provisional taxpayers have until 31 January 2022 to file.

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