"Currently SARS is empowered by legislation to give you a 200% penalty on any tax amount that you evaded, and if that is already unbelievable, you get to pay the interest from due date to the date of payment too. You can also go to prison,' reports needanaccountant.co.za.
And if it suspects your company of tax evasion, it can drop by anytime – and unannounced – to raid you.
SARS has the power to conduct search and seizures if it suspects tax evasion
Under the Tax Administration Act (TAA), 'SARS has extensive power to conduct a search of premises and seize documents, books of account and records,' explains the Practical Tax Loose Leaf.
If it suspects your business of tax evasion, here's what you can expect to happen.
During search and seizures, a SARS official can do the following:
According to the Practical Tax Loose Leaf, while conducting a raid, a SARS official may:1. Open or remove anything that the official suspects to contain relevant material;
This aside, it's important to remember that a SARS official can't enter your home or domestic premises without your consent, unless you use a part of your home for business purposes. In that case, you must let them into that part of the house.
Just remember, in most cases, SARS can only conduct a search and seizure raid with a warrant issued by a judge of the High Court or a magistrate in smaller tax evasion cases. If you're confronted with a SARS official at your office, demand to see it. By doing this, you'll know whether or not the raid can legally be carried out and what your rights as the business owner are.