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SARS penalties for outstanding corporate tax returns to kick in soon

The SA Revenue Service (SARS) said on Thursday that it will soon impose administrative non-compliance penalties for outstanding corporate income tax (CIT) returns.

Administrative non-compliance penalties will be imposed on companies that fail to submit an income tax return, as required under the Income Tax Act, for years of assessment ending during the 2009 and subsequent calendar years. It applies where SARS has issued that company with a final demand and where the company fails to submit the outstanding return within 21 business days of the final demand.

Penalties will range from R250 to R16 000, depending on the company’s assessed loss or taxable income, for each outstanding return. It will increase by the same amount for every month that the non-compliance continues after the first penalty has been imposed.

It is compulsory for all registered companies – small or large – to submit their income tax returns within 12 months of the end of the company’s financial year. It can be done on eFiling.

CIT is payable by companies resident in SA, companies that derive income or have a capital gain or loss in SA, or that maintain a permanent establishment or branch in SA.

Dormant companies – registered companies that have no receipts or assets – are also required to file outstanding returns prior to 2018, to prevent a penalty being imposed.

SARS said it will impose penalties by means of a penalty assessment which, if not paid, will be followed by debt recovery steps. A company may seek remittance of the penalty from SARS and, where not granted, the company has the right to lodge an objection on eFiling against the decision not to remit.

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