Roux van Zyl
Small business owners swarmed the taxman's offices around the country yesterday in a last minute effort to beat today's tax amnesty deadline.
South African Revenue Services (Sars) yesterday extended its deadline to Saturday to accommodate the rush.
Nationwide more than 4000 business owners have been streaming to their local Sars offices since Monday to have their bad tax records cleared.
Sars acting re-gional coordinator for tax education Louise Coussens said: "It's almost a mad rush. People are always waiting for the last minute, but we were in a way expecting it."
Sars estimated that nationally more than 75000 people had applied since the amnesty opened on August 1.
But the flow of amnesty seekers has not always been that strong and by March only 15000 applications were received, though more than 40000 public enquiries had been made.
This prompted the taxman to embark on a series of personal business visits across the country as part of an amnesty awareness campaign.
According to the amnesty conditions, only small businesses with a yearly turn-over of less than R10million and those that defaulted on income tax, VAT and payroll taxes qualify.
On April 20 am-nesty conditions were broadened so that small businesses that were refused amnesty could have the additional penalties on their tax debt as at July 31.