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Voluntary Disclosure Programme Under Way

South Africa

As indicated in the tax proposals of the 2012 Budget Speech, by mid-February 2012, the South African Revenue Service 'SARS' had captured 17 938 applications for voluntary disclosure relief in terms of the Voluntary Disclosure Programme and Taxation Laws Second Amendment Act 2010 'VDP Act' and concluded agreements to the value of R941 million in this regard. Voluntary disclosure applications in terms of the VDP Act were required to be submitted to SARS by 31 October 2011. Taxand South Africa discusses the terms of the Voluntary Disclosure Programme to see if taxpayers will benefit once this is approved.

In order to enhance ongoing voluntary compliance subsequent to the conclusion of the voluntary disclosure programme 'VDP' offered in terms of the VDP Act, Part B of Chapter 16 of the Tax Administration Bill 'TAB' proposes a permanent legislative framework for the disclosure of defaults relating to all tax types, other than customs and excise.

The TAB was passed by parliament on 7 December 2011 and the current status of the TAB as indicated on the Parliamentary Monitory Group website is 'to be sent for assent'. Accordingly, the TAB has been sent to the President for signature and could be promulgated at any time. The TAB comes into operation on a date to be determined by the President by proclamation in the Gazette and it was indicated in the 2012 Budget Speech that the TAB is expected to be promulgated and most of its provisions brought into force in 2012.

Taxand SA provides a more in depth look at the Voluntary Disclosure Programme

Taxand's Take

The VDP relief proposed in terms of the TAB therefore does not include relief from interest as was previously provided for in the VDP Act. The VDP relief contained in the TAB is therefore not as favourable as was previously provided for in the VDP Act. However, the potential VDP relief provided for in the TAB may be seen as a 'bonus' to defaulting taxpayers who did not make use of the VDP as contained in the VDP Act and it is recommended that such taxpayers become better acquainted with the penalties they may face in terms of the TAB and the possible VDP relief which may be available in this regard; provided the requirements as set out above are complied with.

Your Taxand contacts for further queries are:
Bernard Du Plessis
T. +27 11 269 7891

Peter Dachs
T. +27 21 410 6620



Taxand's Take Author