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SARS has just warned taxpayers of a new scam

by , 21 June 2016
SARS has just warned taxpayers of a new scamScam artists posing as SARS' 'representatives', are calling on taxpayers.

They're demanding immediate payment of outstanding taxes and undeclared taxes. And they're also offering to wipe off the taxpayer debts... for a fee.

I've personally experienced a number of cases where taxpayers have been taken to the cleaners by these false SARS officials.

Don't be fooled! Take a look at how they took Comair for R6.5 million and what you can do to protect yourself...

Comair forced to pay VAT of R6.5 million – again

Comair paid a clearing agent some R6.5 million VAT on a Boeing aircraft they imported. The agent confirmed in writing that he had paid SARS.
But SARS never received it. So four years later, they rolled up at Comair and demanded the R6.5 million.
Comair had to pay the VAT again and recovered very little from the clearing agent (Supreme Court of Appeal – case 73/06).
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I've just finished reviewing the upcoming issue of the Practical VAT Loose Leaf Service. We're sending it to the printer this week.
If you want to receive your copy, add your name to the list before midnight tonight.
Here's what you'll find in this issue:
  • SARS warned of a new scam involving fake SARS officials. Here are three ways to check the SARS official on your doorstep is legit.
  • Three new ways SARS can audit your VAT and how to make sure you're prepared
  • Avoid these eight red-flags that could trigger your next VAT audit
  • Eight steps to complete your VAT201 return correctly and avoid getting the nasty SARS VAT pop up letter
  • What your VAT payment date should be according to VAT law - Don't let SARS push you around by telling you your payment date is the 25th!
  • SARS approves two new names for the tax invoice from 8 January 2016
  • Tax invoices: What's acceptable to SARS and what's not
  • Do you issue electronic tax invoices? Here are three requirements you must meet for them to qualify. And how to treat copies and photocopies
  • Three requirements you need to meet to use alternatives to tax invoices and successfully claim your input tax 
To add your name to the list and get your copy sign up here 

But fake SARS consultants aren't the only ones you have to worry about

Phishing scams have been around for some years now. You get an SMS or email telling you to provide your banking details so that SARS can pay your tax refund into your bank account. But a fraudster recently took R81 000 out the taxpayer's bank account and SARS says they can do nothing about it…
In another case, an accountant named Stieler (a good name), offered to eFile returns and pay over VAT and payroll taxes for his clients. He told them how much the tax came to and they paid those amounts into his bank account.
He didn't pay SARS, and by the time the paw-paw hit the fan, he'd stolen R18 million off his clients. They simply had to pay SARS again!
Here's five ways you can use to protect yourself.
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Here's five ways you can protect yourself from the latest scams

1.      SARS warns you that you must deposit money only into SARS' designated bank accounts. Never hand it over to a SARS debt collector or someone who claims to represent SARS.
2.      If someone tells you there's a refund due to you, check on the SARS statement of account and check with SARS. Never give your banking details over the phone or internet.
3.      If someone tells you, you have an outstanding tax debt, this will also show on SARS statements of account. Contact SARS, get a payment reference number and pay directly into that account – never give money to someone who claims to represent SARS!
4.      Remember – emails from SARS come from @sars.gov.za – you can always call them to verify.
5.      Don't just trust the SARS official on your door is legit. Check with these three items I cover in the Practical VAT Loose Leaf Service.
There you have it! That's the latest from phishing scams from SARS.
P.S. My colleague Dee Bezuidenhout, who I used to work with at SARS, is conducting an intensive VAT training course in JHB. I thought I'd be doing you a disservice if I didn't let you know about it. So book your seat now, get all the VAT knowledge you need to comply with the law and stay out of SARS' radar… and cash in on the early bird discount if you book early.   

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