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Committing these two offences when filing your 2013 tax return could get you a criminal record

by , 02 July 2013
Tax season is officially underway after kicking off yesterday morning. According to the Business Report, by the start of business yesterday morning, more than 11,238 income tax returns had already been submitted though eFiling. As you rush to file your tax return before the 22 November deadline, be sure to steer clear of committing these criminal offences.

SARS means business!

It's warned one wrong move this tax season can land you in jail for contravening the Tax Admin Act.

That's why it's crucial that you avoid committing these offences when filing your tax return.

Two offences that could get you a criminal record under the Tax Admin Act

These criminal offences fall under the following categories:

#1: Filing a tax return without authority

  • Submitting a tax return or any other document to SARS under a forged signature;
  • Using someone else's electronic or digital signature in any electronic communication to SARS; and
  • 'Submitting a communication to SARS on behalf of someone else, without their permission,' says the Practical Tax Loose Leaf Service.

If you're guilty of one of these acts, you'll be subject to a fine or face a jail term of two years.

#2: Tax evasion

  • If you try to evade tax or help someone to evade tax or get a refund that's not due;
  • If you make or allow any false statement or entry in your tax return or any other document you submit to SARS. Or if you sign a statement, return or other document you've submitted without reasonable grounds for believing them to be true.
  • If you receive a request for information from SARS and you give a false answer, either verbally or in writing.

'A senior SARS official may lay a complaint with the South African Police Service or the National Prosecuting Authority if he believes you're guilty of any of the above tax evasion offences,' warns the Practical Tax Loose Leaf Service.

 Remember, the deadline for you to submit your returns electronically is 22 November 2013 and if you want to submit your return by mail or at any dedicated SARS drop box your deadline is September 2013, explains FSP Business.

Make sure you keep these criminal offences handy so you know what you don't go to jail this tax season for making one of these mistakes.

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