When crisis hits and you can’t pay SARS, follow these six steps

43984, 08 Oct. 2014

Tags: sars, vat return

As a Vat vendor, you collect tax for the state. This means, you’re a SARS agent and must collect Vat on SARS’ behalf and then pay it over when it’s due.
But what happens when crisis hits? What happens when you calculate your Vat return and discover you simply can’t afford to pay SARS?
If you ever find yourself in this situation, don’t sit back and hope for a miracle. Follow these six steps instead so you can avoid the wrath of SARS.
Follow these six steps when you can’t pay SARS
Step 1: Submit your Vat return
Just because you can’t afford to pay doesn’t mean you mustn’t submit your Vat return to SARS.
If you don’t submit your return on time, you’re guilty of an offence and could get a fine of up to R80 000 or two years in jail.
Step 2: Visit your SARS office
Go to the SARS client service centre in the area where you did your Vat registration and tell the officials at the service centre about your current situation.
Step 3: Provide a detailed explanation of your circumstances
Set out your circumstances in writing, explaining why you can't pay the Vat and make a proposal as to how you’ll be able to settle the amount in question.
Step 4: Give SARS your up-to-date financials
Prepare a statement of your income and expenditure and an up-to-date statement of your assets and liabilities.
Step 5: Get your paperwork in order
Make a copy of your latest bank statement and take it with you to SARS.
Step 6: Consult with SARS
When you meet with SARS, explain your situation verbally and in writing. Submit your written explanation together with your statements of income and expenditure, assets and liabilities and latest bank statement. Discuss your proposal for settling your account with the SARS official.
After this, SARS will let you to settle your Vat account over a period of time, unless you’ve been guilty of evasion. This period depends on your circumstances.
Don’t sit back when crisis hits and you can’t pay SARS. Be proactive and follow these six steps. This way, SARS may consider letting you off the hook.

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