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Permanent Voluntary Disclosure Programme for tax payers

Although the Voluntary Disclosure Programme (VDP) for tax payers ended on 31 October 2011, all is not lost for those who missed the deadline. A permanent VDP is in the pipeline.

The new Tax Administration Bill, which was introduced in Parliament in June 2011, provides for a permanent legislative framework for voluntary disclosure. It applies across all tax types but excludes customs and excise.

The main purpose of this permanent VDP is to enhance voluntary compliance with tax laws. In the new dispensation, SARS will not pursue criminal prosecution. In addition, relief on penalties payable will be granted depending on the type of behaviour underlying the non-disclosure.

The penalty percentages as set out in Columns 5 or 6 of the accompanying table will apply to the new permanent VDP. It is interesting to note that even “intentional tax evasion” will incur only a 37% penalty, with no risk of criminal prosecution (on condition that no audit was pending when the application was lodged).

Tax payers who are in default, should consider the opportunity presented by the new VDP. Coming clean has never been so worthwhile!

For more information, contact Sonja Frank of Exceed Trust on tel. 021 882 8140 or e-mail sonja@exceed.co.za.

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