File photo: INLSA

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Revenue Service (Sars) said on Monday that it has embarked on a new initiative with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to prosecute non-compliant taxpayers, including prominent South Africans, who have failed to submit returns.

Sars said that the taxpayers who are found guilty will end up with a criminal record.

The initiative has already seen its first conviction in Port Shepstone in KwaZulu-Natal last week when a company's representative was ordered to submit all the outstanding returns.

A representative of SPS Distributors paid an admission of guilt fine of R5,600 in the Port Shepstone Regional Court for non-submission of more than 50 outstanding Value-Added Tax (VAT), Pay-As-You-Earn, (PAYE) and Corporate Income Tax (CIT) returns. 

Failure to submit a tax or VAT return is a criminal offence in terms of the Tax Administration Act and Value-Added Tax legislation.

The campaign marks an intensification of Sars's outstanding returns project that was launched towards the end of last year when the revenue service aimed to raise awareness amongst taxpayers about outstanding tax returns. 

 - African News Agency (ANA)