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Don't reply to that Vat refund notice until you've checked if it's a phishing scam!

by , 13 February 2013
Fraudulent emails and SMSes claiming your business is due a refund from SARS are on the rise again. Luckily, there are four ways to check whether the email you received about a 'Vat refund 'from SARS' is legitimate or not...

SARS has warned tax payers about an increase in email scams and phishing attacks using the SARS name or logo.
 
Many tax payers are falling for this, despite knowing that SARS would never ask you to supply your eFiling or banking details over email or by clicking through to a website.
 
'SARS will not request your banking details over the phone, or via email or websites,' SARS spokesperson Marika Muller said on Fin24.
 
You should also beware of emails from addresses like 'returns@sars.co.za' or 'efunds@sars.co.za' – they're fake! Since SARS is a government entity , it's email addresses ends in '.gov.za'.
 
If you're concerned about an emails or SMS message claiming to be from SARS, you can contact SARS in the following ways to find out if it's a phishing scam:
 
Four ways to find out if you're about to fall for a SARS phishing scam
  1. Visit the SARS website's 'phishing scams' page by clicking here;
  2. Email phishing@sars.gov.za, providing the details of the message you've received;
  3. Call SARS' Fraud and Anti-Corruption Hotline on 0800 00 2870; or
  4. Call the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277.
 
If your business is due a Vat refund from SARS and you use eFiling, your Vat return will be captured immediately through the Vat refund dashboard, says FSP Business.
 
That means you'll also be able to log onto eFiling to check that a Vat refund message is legitimate.
 
But remember there could be a delay in receiving you Vat refund if SARS doesn't have your correct banking details. And if you file a manual Vat return, SARS can take up to 14 days to capture it; this could delay your Vat refund.

And, our chances of being audited by SARS just increased…

A small administrative mistake is all it takes for SARS to schedule an audit for your business. Putting a simple zero in the wrong place on the Vat return could cause a long and tedious audit process that could cost your business thousands. Make sure this never happens to you by filling in the new Vat return 100% correctly every, single time.

Find out how here.


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