Professional Accountants | Secundes

Finding yourself in debt to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) can be an unsettling experience for both individuals and businesses alike. Recognising the consequences of outstanding tax debt and knowing your options for resolution is the first step towards regaining financial stability. At Secundes, we guide you through the complexities of tax compliance and debt management with SARS.

The legal implications of owing SARS

Tax compliance is not optional; it is a legal requirement for all taxpayers. Under the Tax Administration Act (TAA), failing to submit a return with the necessary payment is considered a criminal offence (Section 234(2)(d) read with subsection (k)). Therefore you need to not only prioritise filing your tax returns on time but also ensure that any due tax payments are made promptly.

How to address your tax debt with SARS

SARS offers various channels for taxpayers to inquire about their tax debt, including SMS services, the SARS Contact Centre, and email communication. These platforms can provide balance statements and facilitate discussions on payment arrangements or disputes regarding your tax debt.

Options for servicing your debt

Immediate payment: Ideally, the full balance should be settled within seven days to avoid additional penalties and interest.

Payment in instalments: If you’re unable to pay the full amount upfront, you can apply to pay in instalments. This requires submitting a Collection Information Statement (CIS) to SARS, detailing your financial situation.

Compromise of debt: In certain cases, you may request a compromise on your outstanding tax debt. This also involves submitting a CIS form to SARS.

Suspension of debt: If you intend to dispute your debt, you can apply for its suspension during the dispute resolution process.

How Secundes can assist

At Secundes, we understand the stress and complexity involved in managing tax debt. Our team of experienced tax professionals can assist you in several key areas:

Tax debt assessment: We can help you understand exactly how much you owe and why, providing clarity and direction.

Communication with SARS: Navigating the bureaucracy of SARS can be challenging. Our team can act on your behalf, ensuring that all communications are clear, professional, and timely.

Payment arrangements: We can assist in negotiating payment arrangements that are feasible for your financial situation, helping to avoid further penalties and interest.

Dispute resolution: If you disagree with the tax debt assessed, we can guide you through the dispute resolution process, ensuring that your case is presented effectively.

Compliance advice: Beyond resolving your current tax debt, we offer advice and strategies to ensure your future tax compliance, helping to avoid similar situations down the line.

The importance of proactive engagement

Ignoring tax debt can lead to severe consequences, including criminal charges, asset seizure, and adverse credit records. It’s crucial to engage with SARS proactively to manage your tax debt. Secundes is here to support you through this process, providing expert advice and representation to facilitate the complexities of tax law and SARS procedures.

Contact Secundes Today

If you’re facing tax debt and unsure of the next steps, don’t hesitate to reach out to Secundes. Our team is ready to assist you in resolving your tax issues efficiently. Remember, the sooner you address your tax debt, the more options you’ll have available for resolution.

While every reasonable effort is taken to ensure the accuracy and soundness of the contents of this publication, neither the writers of the articles nor the publisher will bear any responsibility for the consequences of any actions based on information or recommendations contained herein. Our material is for informational purposes.

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