Durban – The South African Revenue Service (Sars) says it is taking a zero-tolerance approach to taxpayers who are not filing tax returns, not making accurate declarations, not registering for the applicable tax in their tax returns and failing to make payments due to them where applicable.
Sars said this as it reminded trusts and individual taxpayers that are provisional taxpayers to file their income tax returns for the 2023 tax year as the deadline is looming.
Sars said non-compliance with their obligations was a criminal offence and would attract penalties and interest.
It said the 2023 year of assessment refers to the period between March 1, 2022 and February 28, 2023. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, January 24, 2024.
“Sars has made it easy for taxpayers to comply through online filing solutions. The personal income tax return (ITR12) and trust income tax return (ITR12T) may be obtained on eFiling, while an appointment with a Sars branch may be made on the Sars website.
“Taxpayers are encouraged to refer to the Sars website for further information on their tax obligations, trusts, tax filing season 2023 and provisional tax,” read the statement.
The statement said a provisional taxpayer is any person who receives income or to whom income accrues, other than remuneration.
A Trust is included under the definition of a “person” in terms of the Income Tax Act, no. 58 of 1962, and is therefore regarded as a taxpayer.
“All trusts are required to file a tax return annually, including those that are not economically active. A trustee is the representative taxpayer of a trust and is liable to file on behalf of the trust or appoint a registered tax practitioner to do so,” Sars said.
It added that, as of the 2023 year of assessment, trustees are required to submit mandatory supporting documents during the filing process. They said these documents include, among others, the trust instrument, annual financial statements, letters of authority, resolutions/minutes of trustee meetings and an organogram depicting the beneficial ownership of the trust.
“Beneficiaries of trusts are required to declare their income, including income derived from a trust, in their personal income tax returns,” the statement read.
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