Two criminal offences you must know about to avoid finding yourself on the wrong side of tax law

43984, 25 Nov. 2014

Tags: types of tax criminal offences, sars, tax offences, criminal tax offences, criminal offences and sars

Everything you do when it comes to your company’s tax affairs has consequences.
For example, you might think signing off a company tax return on behalf of someone else is okay. But, in SARS’ eyes it isn’t and could actually result in you facing five years in jail and having a criminal record tied to your name!
The point here is, you must be careful of everything you do so you don’t get into trouble with SARS.
But the good news is we’ll help you by giving you’re the right information. Keep reading to discover two types of tax criminal offences you must avoid so you’re not on the wrong side of the law.
Two types of tax criminal offences what will land you on the wrong side of tax law
#1: Non-compliance with tax acts
If you intentionally do any of the following and are convicted, you’ll face two years in jail:
  • You don’t register your details with SARS or you change your personal details and don’t let it know;
  • You appoint a tax representative to handle tax on your behalf, but you don’t notify SARS of this;
  • You change the details of your tax representative and don’t let SARS know;
  • You don’t submit a return or relevant documents to SARS;
  • You don’t keep your records in the correct format and for the correct amount of time;
  • You submit a false certificate or statement;
  • You don’t disclose material facts to SARS when you should have;
  • You obstruct a SARS official when he’s trying to perform his official duties;
  • You refuse to offer help during a field audit or criminal investigation;
  • You pretend to be a SARS official who’s carrying out the provisions of the Tax Admin Act; and
  • You don’t comply with the provisions of debt collection from third parties after SARS gives you notice to transfer your assets, or pay the amounts.
#2: Doing any of the following when filing a tax return
If you file a return without authority and:
  • Submit a return or any other document to SARS and forge the signature;
  • Use someone else’s electronic or digital signature in any electronic communication to SARS; or
  • Submit a communication to SARS on behalf of someone else without their permission, you’ll be found guilty of an offence and get a fine or face two years jail time.
The reality is, SARS doesn’t want non-compliant taxpayers and is watching your each and every move.
So be sure to keep these two types of tax criminal offences in mind so you know what you mustn’t do or risk finding yourself on the wrong side of the law.

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