On 07 December the South African Revenue Service (SARS) warned taxpayers to be wary of persons posing as tax practitioners or tax experts who promise them that they could secure a refund from SARS. It issued the following release:
Businesses and other organisations must also beware of third parties such as unknown payroll companies who offer to assist them with their Pay as you Earn (PAYE) submissions.
SARS is being inundated with desperate calls from honest taxpayers who fall victim to these criminals and scammers who pocket the refunds for themselves and their accomplices as they often operate as syndicates.
In some cases, these fraudulent submissions are the cause of delays that are experienced by law-abiding taxpayers when SARS has no other option but to verify the information that was submitted by scammers to SARS.
Taxpayers who willingly participate in such fraudulent activity in expectation of an illegal refund will be prosecuted along with the scammers.
SARS urges honest citizens who suspect such criminal activity to provide information to SARS. They can contact SARS anonymously using the number 0800 00 2870 or by anonymously completing an online form available on the SARS website www.sars.gov.za
Story by: Riaan de Lange