Time is running out to apply for business tax amnesty

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has intensified its campaign to encourage small business owners to apply for amnesty with a number of Sars officials visiting various business premises in Hatfield, Pretoria on Friday.

Last month Sars said that tax amnesty applications were trickling in at a less than satisfactory pace. To date it has received about 15000 applications, and more than 40000 public enquiries have been made on the campaign. Most of those who made enquiries have not applied for amnesty.

"There is a high level of public enquiries, but unfortunately they do not translate into applications. With less than 100 working days to go before deadline, we call on businesses to apply," said Sars spokesman Adrian Lackay.

The visits will establish if these businesses are registered for tax, have any outstanding issues with Sars and are aware of the small business tax amnesty or whether they had applied for the amnesty.

"During the initiative in Hatfield businesses operating outside the tax net will be firmly cautioned that they are breaking the law," the receiver said.

Sars officials will leave amnesty application forms with each business that qualifies for the amnesty and offer help to business owners on how to apply.

Business owners will be given a time frame during which to complete the amnesty form. Sars will record their details and conduct follow-up visits to each noncompliant business premises.

"Noncompliant business owners must understand that the deadline for the amnesty is May 31. After the deadline Sars will assume a vigorous enforcement campaign against businesses that are not tax compliant," the receiver said.

The intensified Sars amnesty campaign extended to other parts of the metropole at the weekend and will continue today.