Your average South African doesn’t pay a great deal in taxes to SARS every financial year.
For the wealthiest – those who fall into the High Wealth Individual (HWI) bracket – it’s a different story.
In May, SARS announced it was forming an HWI unit.
A letter from SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter outlined nine key objectives, and it’s clear that the unit has been established to enhance tax compliance among and increase collections from these HWIs.
This might be a good time to brush up on the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion.
SARS has now confirmed that it has appointed Natasha Singh, a chartered accountant with in excess of two decades worth of experience, as the new director of its HWI Segment.
This via BusinessTech:
Singh holds a master’s degree specialising in taxation. She joins SARS from Eskom, where she served as Finance Executive: Group Insurance and Tax.
Her appointment is timely as it coincides with recent reports that affect this important segment of taxpayers, including the recently released Pandora Papers, said SARS commissioner Edward Kieswetter.
Those Pandora Papers, said Kieswetter, highlighted just how skilled some of the world’s wealthiest have become at arranging “their financial affairs in complex on- and offshore structures, often masking their direct beneficial ownership and true income”.
He went on to say that SARS “will not tolerate willful non-compliance and will make it hard and costly for such taxpayers without fear or favour”.
According to a 2019 report, around 4 000 of South Africa’s wealthiest citizens have left the country over the past decade.
If you rank among the elite HWI segment, then congrats, but also be sure to glance over your shoulder because SARS will be sniffing around.
As always, it pays to make use of the professionals, like those at Galbraith | Rushby, to ensure all the right boxes are ticked.
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