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Avoid criminal sanctions by ensuring your business is tax compliant!

by , 25 January 2013
The annual budget speech usually has a huge impact on tax practitioners. Even more so this year, as government has already announced a new regulatory framework will be set up for tax practitioners from July. And this year's budget speech coincides with the tax year-end, so tax practitioners will have less time to help their clients implement changes than before. There are six ways to ensure your business will still be seen by SARS astax compliant.

'Tax advisers await Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's 2013-14 budget announcement in Parliament on 27 February with greater trepidation than is normally the case, because it was originally planned to take place the week before,' reports the Business Day's BDLive website.
The significance is that the budget speech will now take place right at the end of the tax year.
'In previous years, this precious week gave experts a window of opportunity to rearrange their clients' tax affairs in the light of the minister's announcements. One day is not sufficient to do this, and there are fears this was precisely the reason why the date was changed and that major tax amendments are in the offing, adds the Business Day's BDLive website.
And government is going to target 'rogue tax practitioners' this year, according to the business.iafrica.com website.
That's because this year sees the launch of a new regulatory framework for the tax advisory industry. This will hold tax practitioners accountable for the advice they give taxpayers.
The framework calls for the registration of tax practitioners with a regulatory body before July.
There will be criminal sanctions for those who fail to do so and who continue to submit tax returns or provide tax advice for a fee.
There are six ways for your business to avoid these sanctions and ensure you're tax compliant, as suggested by the Tax Matters bulletin.
Six ways to ensure your business is tax compliant

  1. Don't hire tax practitioners who aren't in good standing with SARS, and whose practice numbers aren't verifiable. Choose a tax practitioner who is part of a reputable industry body.
  2. Keep good records and make sure your accounts and taxes are in order.
  3.  If you aren't familiar with the best practice approach to a certain transaction or scenario, get familiarised with it fast!
  4.  Don't do business with any company or entity which can't prove their business is legal. Ask for a tax clearance certificate if you're in doubt.
  5. Buying counterfeit goods could bring the SARS auditors to your door. Buy local and buy legal.
  6. It's never too late to say sorry! SARS has made it clear that if you have broken the rules in the past, simply by approaching SARS for help resolving the matter, you show good intentions. SARS will take steps to help you out.
Put these tips into practice now to ensure your business and tax practitioner are tax compliant before any further tax changes are announced in the budget speech!

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