As I wrote before, SARS is getting increasingly intrusive in its drive to extract as much money as possible from the private sector. While tax rates won’t be going up, SARS will “broaden the tax base” and “close loopholes” to get more money out of the productive people.
Now, SARS will force third parties such as lawyers, estate agents, and medical aid funds to automatically turn over information on their clients to SARS. It will also be able to log into the bank accounts of private individuals to see what’s going on there. Fin24.com reports that:
Johannesburg – The SA Revenue Service (Sars) has acquired new powers to gather intelligence on taxpayers and collect revenue, it was reported on Tuesday.
People and companies, such as lawyers, estate agents and medical aid funds, now had a duty to automatically submit information about their clients to Sars, The Timesreported.
The powers were reportedly gazetted last month and followed provisions of last year’s Tax Administration Act, which allows certain high-ranking Sars officials to authorise searches without warrants…
One of the biggest changes in the new Tax Administration Act was the broadening of the scope of the information Sars could request, he said.
Sars spokesperson Adrian Lackay reportedly confirmed the new regulations.
“Sars can request any information from a bank account of a taxpayer as part of its third-party data verification,” he told The Times.
This is another way government is outsourcing the tax collection process to the private sector, raising the cost of doing business in SA further. These companies now forced to automatically turn over information on their clients will have to employ people to do it. This means a drain on productivity in SA. Just another way government wastes our time and makes us all poorer.