The Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme: Time is Running Out, and Automatic International Exchange of Tax Information is Kicking In

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There has been widespread reporting that globally, revenue authorities are clamping down on tax havens. As from next month, tax authorities from over 50 countries (set to grow to over 100 by September 2018) will be automatically reporting to their counterpart tax offices on, amongst other things, bank accounts and investments held by their nationals. This is in terms of the OECD’s automatic exchange of tax information policy.

With such information exchanged, SARS will undoubtedly be in an even better position to request relevant material, issue assessments and potentially prosecute tax offenders. In addition, Exchange Control will also be informed and could commence proceedings against individuals and entities that have unauthorised forex holdings.

Those wishing to take advantage of the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP) have until the end of August 2017 to submit their applications for amnesty relief, which includes immunity from prosecution and reduced penalties.

If you are accessing the SVDP, do so quickly as the application process may be time consuming.

Speak to your accountant now if you are in any doubt.