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Breaking news: You'll have to re-register with SARS when the new Customs Act comes into effect

by , 17 March 2015
In order to be in line with SARS Customs Modernisation Programme, SARS is aiming to implement the Customs Control and Duty Acts in July 2015.

This means that once the Acts take effect, all importers and exporters will only have 30 days to re-register with SARS. Here's what you need to know about this important change...

Here's how the new Customs Act will affect your business

First and foremost, you need to know that  if you haven'tsubmitted your registration forms within those 30 days once the Act comes into effect, existing customs registrations will no longer be valid!

This means that your company risks  its goods being stopped at the borders until such time as a new registration application has been approved by SARS..

Also, a customs broker or registered agent may not make an application on a companies behalf.

Until this moment, SARS has not given any indication of exactly how it intends to accommodate the large volume of applications that will be received.

However, is has said that the 30 days applies to making the application, not processing it. SARS will have as long as it  requires to do the actual processing

Down below you'll find four penalties SARS can charge you for if you don't comply with the Vat Act! Plus five bonus tips to avoid SARS Vat Penalties!

In case you don't comply with the Vat Act, SARS will do its job and may charge you with the following four penalties.

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Use this ten-step action plan to ensure you get your Vat refund from SARS on time, every time

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Here are the four types of penalties SARS charges for Vat Act non-compliance

1. Fixed amount administrative/non-compliance penalties

If SARS thinks you didn't comply with the Vat Act, it can impose a penalty. SARS will base the penalty on the prescribed table of fixed penalties.

Make sure you comply with all your Vat administrative obligations.

2. Percentage based penalty

In this regard, if you pay any of the taxes imposed under any Tax Act late, SARS will impose a percentage-based penalty. This is over and above any other penalty or interest that's already been levied.

3. Understatement penalty

If you're guilty of paying less tax than you should have, you'll have to pay an understatement penalty in addition to the tax payable.

4. Criminal penalties.

This applies if you don't comply with all tax laws, all the time. SARS will prosecute you for noncompliance even for the smallest things.

Note that if you don't submit a return, you are potentially liable for all four types of penalties plus interest if you don't pay by the effective date.

Luckily, avoid SARS Vat penalties is fairly ease

Use these tips to stay on SARS' good side:

1. Register for Vat when you have to – i.e. when you your turnover is more than R1 million in any
12-month period.
2. Tell SARS when your postal, banking or representative's details change and keep the proof.
3. Submit your Vat returns on time.
4. Assist SARS with their information gathering.
5. Manage your tax debt liability properly.

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