SARS collects R1 billion from special voluntary disclosure programme

File picture: Ziphozonke Lushaba, Independent Media

File picture: Ziphozonke Lushaba, Independent Media

Published Oct 12, 2017


JOHANNESBURG - The South African Revenue Service (Sars) said on Tuesday that it had collected more than R1 billion from about 2000 taxpayers during the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP).


The SVDP offered non-compliant taxpayers a once-off opportunity during a limited window period running from 1 October 2016 to 31 August 2017 to regularise their unauthorised foreign assets and income by voluntary disclosing tax and exchange control defaults specifically in relation to offshore assets. 


This programme was announced in the Budget Speech in 2016 by the then finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, to give non-compliant taxpayers the opportunity to voluntary disclose offshore assets and income.


Sars said that the 2018 applications have been tallied, which has assisted the revenue service in collecting over R1,016,467,286 in revenue. The total tax liability stands at R1,182,734,842.


This collected revenue, Sars said, would provide a boost to the revenue purse in a difficult economic period and would assist the country in its socio-economic development to take South Africa forward.

Sars said it was "quite satisfied" with the response by South African taxpayers and traders to take advantage of the SVDP, although it was not possible to anticipate the number of applications beforehand as was demonstrated in the 2016 Budget Review.

Applications are being processed by the Sars Voluntary Disclosure Programme (VDP) team of law, tax and finance experts. The outcome will be known by the end of the financial year.

Sars said those who have not yet applied for offshore tax relief can still do so under the normal VDP process.


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