Expect big tax changes in SA
Taxpayers can expect big changes in SA from SARS in the near future. One of these is to collect taxes from individuals on a real-time monthly basis.
The SARS announcement earlier this year stated that the entity aimed to become a future revenue authority informed by data-driven insights, self-learning computers, AI, and other devices in what was termed ‘Vision 2024’.
A recent SAIT/SAGE payroll tax update webinar explained that through a SARS app, Vision 2024 would use third-party data to ‘assess’ an individual where real-time tax liabilities will be shown. It would enable accurate and timely withholding of taxes from employees and their payment to SARS; reduce the payroll administration for employers, payroll administrators and SARS\enable employees to monitor their tax obligations during the tax year; simplify the annual returns process for employers; and relieve the necessity for most salaried employees to file annual tax returns.
According to a report in BusinessTech, Webber Wentzel partner Joon Chong said, “Currently, banks, financial institutions, medical schemes, attorneys, estate agents and issuers of bonds, debentures and financial products are required to file third-party returns to SARS once a year after the end of the year of assessment which accrued to a taxpayer in that year and contain information on interest, dividends or capital gains from that year.
“These third-party returns, together with the IRP5 certificates issued to employees and EMP 501 returns filed with SARS by employers, are currently used to pre-populate the ITR12 annual tax returns for individuals.
“It appears that the third-party data could be used by SARS to generate an ‘effective tax rate‘ for each taxpayer.”
Currently, no information is available on how SARS will collect taxes on business income, rental income and capital gains as these aren’t subject to third-party data reporting.
SARS is due to circulate information on Vision 2024 in the near future.