Image: Peter Smithson -

There has been an increase in taxpayers not submitting their tax returns by the stipulated deadlines, and not settling their outstanding debt with SARS, and as from this month SARS will  intensify criminal proceedings against tax offenders.

That is according to SARS, who  says in a press release that the increase is not limited to the current tax year but includes substantial non-compliance across previous tax years.

It says failure to submit the return(s) within the said period could result in:
• Administrative penalties being imposed on a monthly basis per outstanding return
• Criminal prosecution resulting in imprisonment or a fine for each day that such default continues

SARS says it is also important to note that should any return result in a tax debt it must be paid before the relevant due date to avoid any interest for late payment and legal action.

To avoid any penalties, interest, prosecutions as well as imprisonment, taxpayers are urged to rectify their compliance by submitting any outstanding returns as soon as possible at their nearest SARS Branch or via SARS eFiling at

In accordance with the Tax Administration Act No. 28 of 2011 (TAA) and specifically Section 234 (d), it is a criminal offence not to submit a tax return for any of the tax types they are registered. The tax types are:
·         Personal Income Tax (PIT)
·         Corporate Income Tax (CIT)
·         Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
·         Value Added Tax (VAT)