The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has warned small businesses to be on the lookout for a new scam. SARS said on Monday that it has noted incidents of scam artists pretending to be SARS representatives who have approached unsuspecting small business enterprises to demand so-called outstanding payments on undeclared taxes.
In addition, a few incidents of scammers demanding money to wipe off debts have also been reported to SARS.
Taxpayers and traders with outstanding accounts must resolve the matter directly with SARS, the tax agency said.
People with queries are encouraged to contact the SARS Contact Centre on 0800 00 7277 (0800 00 SARS) to validate their status. Taxpayers should also report any suspicious activity to the SARS Anti-Corruption and Fraud Hotline on 0800 00 2870, toll-free.
‘All outstanding tax, VAT or duties must only be deposited directly into SARS bank accounts,’ warned SARS. ‘No money should be paid over to debt collectors or self-proclaimed SARS officials. In fact, collectors who want money to be handed over to them must be immediately reported.’
‘Sars invites all taxpayers and small business enterprises to contact the SARS offices to settle their dues and submit their returns from 1 July 2016. This will avoid prosecution,’ said the tax agency.