The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has collected over R1 billion through the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme, which closed at the end of August.
“The Revenue Service thanks over 2 000 taxpayers who made use of the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP), which closed on 31 August 2017,” said SARS on Tuesday.
The revenue service announced that, thus far, 2018 applications have been tallied. Of this figure, 335 applications have been processed, yielding R1 016 467 286 in revenue.
“Currently the total tax liability stands at R1 182 734 842,” SARS said.
The programme offered non-compliant taxpayers a once-off opportunity during a limited window period running from 1 October 2016 to 31 August 2017 to regularise their unauthorised foreign assets and income by voluntary disclosing tax and exchange control defaults specifically in relation to offshore assets.
This SVDP was announced in the Budget Speech in 2016 to give non-compliant taxpayers the opportunity to voluntary disclose offshore assets and income.
The SVDP was offered ahead of the first automatic exchange of Information (AEOI) between tax authorities in September 2017.
The revenue service said the collected revenue provides a boost to its revenue purse in a difficult economic period and will assist the country in its socio-economic development to take South Africa forward.
“While it was not possible to anticipate the number of applications beforehand, as was demonstrated in the 2016 Budget Review, SARS is quite satisfied with the response by South African taxpayers and traders to take advantage of the SVDP.”
Applications are currently being processed by SARS VDP team of law, tax and finance experts, the outcomes of which are expected by no later than the end of the current financial year.
“Those who have not applied for offshore tax relief can still do so under the normal VDP process.
“SARS wishes to assure all South Africans that we appreciate the magnitude of our critical mandate and with your patriotic spirit of paying your taxes, our young democracy’s developmental agenda will be achieved,” it said.