A planned change to legislation could mean that common errors with tax returns may be harshly penalised in future, including with jail time, Business Insider reported.
Specifically, section 34 of the draft Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill, 2020 proposes to amend section 234 of the Tax Administration Act, which will remove the concept of willfulness (“intention) from the range of acts that constitute an offence under the TA Act. If you are found guilty, the maximum penalty is two years’ imprisonment.
It would mean that you could be guilty of an offence if you neglect to, for example,
Problems that could result in harsh punishment include:
These considerations do not appear to concern the government, and it is likely that if passed, the threat of criminal sanction will be used by SARS to force taxpayers to comply with their obligations, particularly relating to the filing of returns and payment of tax debts.