SARS is doing things a little differently… what does this mean for taxpayers?

Here at the TTT Financial Group, we encounter scared and confused people on the daily. People with questions like: “How do I submit tax when I’m five years behind?” or “Can I go to jail for not declaring on that investment?”

We chatted with two of our team to find out more.

Meet Cameron and Matt Drysdale.

Cameron Drysdale is our Western Cape regional manager. He’s been with us since 2016.

Matt followed in his brother’s steps and joined the team in 2018 as a tax consultant.

Big Brother (aka SARS) – the kind that terrifies you

We decided to ask the Drysdale brothers about SARS and its goings-on. You see, this sometimes not-so-lekker big brother has implemented a few changes recently. From auto assessments (that no longer require the taxpayer’s approval) to stricter penalties for late tax returns to a steady move toward full automation.

“What I’ve noticed [is that] Kieswetter is the new guy at SARS and he’s doing very well by all accounts in terms of collections.” – Regional Manager Cameron Drysdale

Cameron says SARS is “really improving [its] systems to enforce compliance. It’s very aggressively going after big businesses and high-net-worth individuals. It’s finding out about people who have extra properties but are not declaring rental income,” he says, “so, SARS is improving all its relationships with third parties.”

Third parties like the deeds office and investment companies. These entities give SARS information on the taxpayers.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

So, what do these changes mean?

Two things: 1. Resources are being spent on catching tax-dodgers. 2. Tax-dodgers need to watch out. Even unintentional ones.

It sounds terrifying, especially if you don’t understand it all. Which is why it’s important to have a consultant covering all the bases for you.

Cameron and Matt often have clients approaching them with different noncompliance concerns. Sometimes the clients are worried they’ve contravened tax law by not knowing how to declare something. For example, “they made gains on their cryptocurrency in the last few years – and now they don’t know what to do with it… They’re just scared that [something’s] going to come back to bite them,” says Cam.

Sometimes the client is years behind in their taxes. And we mean years

“We can tell how much it weighs on clients if they’ve got five, six years outstanding.” – TTT Tax Consultant, Matt Drysdale

Matt goes on to sympathise: “I can understand [a tax return] is difficult for anyone who’s not familiar with it… If you don’t know how to approach something, you’re going to stick your head in the sand and leave it as long as you can. And just hope – like Cam says – that it doesn’t pop up again.”

But as Cameron says, “The worst thing is to just hide and hope that it doesn’t come back to bite you.”

Some brotherly advice?

Whether you’re behind in your returns or need to declare something you haven’t yet declared, as Cam says, “just to get compliant is very important.”

Documents will only ever get harder to find. And remember, “SARS stops keeping IRP5s on its system after five years.” (Thanks for that reminder, Matt!)

It’s important to remember that the team will always find the best possible, legally attainable solutions for their clients. Cam has had clients terrified over SMS reminders for exorbitant penalty fees. But those same clients have ended up coming out on top. With Cam’s help, they’ve received generous refunds on tax deductibles they didn’t know about.

Why? Because the TTT team is up to date on SARS’s shifting policies. We know all the rules and how to play the game.

In other words:      

“If [the client] is uncertain and a little bit nervous, they need to discuss it with us… because we can help them every step of the way with the expertise and experience that we have.” -Cam Drysdale

Ready to get tax compliant? Better yet, tax efficient?:

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