End of tax amnesty looms for small businesses

The tax amnesty for businesses with a turnover of less than R10-million a year expires on May 31 this year, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) warned on Monday.

To date, Sars has received close to 18 000 applications for amnesty, said spokesperson Adrian Lackay. “After the deadline, Sars will assume a vigorous enforcement campaign against businesses that are not tax compliant.”

On Monday, Sars officials visited 97 small businesses in Beaufort West in the Western Cape to check the levels of tax compliance and help businesses to apply for amnesty. The Karoo town is a fast-growing centre of economic activity, in particular the transport and associated services sectors. About 20 applications for amnesty were received.

On Friday, the amnesty unit received 201 small-business tax-amnesty applications during an outreach drive in Gauteng. Sars had identified specific business locations in Springs and Pretoria based on a risk assessment of the levels of tax compliance in these areas.

In Pretoria, Sars officials visited 593 businesses located in Bloed and Van der Walt streets and received 158 amnesty applications. As many as 53 additional businesses were earmarked for follow-up inspections.


In Springs on Friday, the Sars effort was complemented with assistance from the Department of Home Affairs and the police. Businesses in the area are largely owned by foreign nationals operating small-scale retail shops.

The inspections secured 43 amnesty applications from the 217 businesses visited. During the inspection, 11 boxes of counterfeit cigarettes were seized and six unlicensed and unroadworthy vehicles impounded.

A hair-salon owner was also arrested for being in possession of two grams of cocaine. — Sapa

Enquiries can be referred to or application forms obtained from the Sars small-business tax-amnesty unit on Tel: 0860 121 220

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