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You already know that evading Vat is a criminal offence. Here are two other Vat offences you should know about

by , 29 October 2014
We're certain you're aware of the fact that if you evade Vat, help someone else evade Vat or claim a Vat refund you're not entitled to or you know is incorrect, you're guilty of committing an offence. And if a court finds you guilty, you'll face a hefty fine or jail time.

What you may not be aware of are the two other Vat offences that are just as serious as evading Vat.

Read on to find out what they are so you can avoid them at all costs.


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Two other Vat offences you should know about

 
1. Contravening the Act's provisions
 
According to the Practical Vat Loose Leaf Service, if you contravene the provisions dealing with confidentiality or secrecy of tax information, you're guilty of an offence. If you're convicted, you'll face a fine or jail time for not more than two years.
 
The provisions that deal with confidentiality are section 67(2) or (3), 68(2), 69(1) or (6) or 70(5) of the Tax Admin Act.
 
2. Filing returns without authority
 
If you do these three things, you're guilty of an offence:
 
  • Submitting a return or other document to SARS under a forged signature;
  • Using someone else's electronic or digital signature in an electronic communication to SARS; or
  • Submitting communications to SARS on someone else's behalf without their consent and authority.
 
If you're convicted of these three Vat offences, you'll face a fine or imprisonment for up to two years (section 237, TAA).
 
The bottom line: Evading Vat isn't the only thing you should avoid committing. Steer clear of these two Vat offences so you can avoid jail time and hefty fines.
 
PS: We strongly recommend you check out the Practical Vat Loose Leaf Service. It gives you tips, tools and advice to comply with the Vat Act.


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