Taxpayers are urged to be extra cautious this festive season, as a new scam has emerged in which fraudsters are exploiting desperate victims for financial gain.
In a statement, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) warned that they have received reports of people posing as tax practitioners or tax experts, who promise taxpayers that they could secure a refund from SARS. Instead, they keep the refund for themselves.
Businesses and other organisations must also beware of third parties such as unknown payroll companies who offer to assist them with their PAYE submissions.
“SARS is being inundated with desperate calls from honest taxpayers who fall victim to these criminals and scammers who pocket the refunds for themselves and their accomplices, as they often operate as syndicates,” said SARS.
“In some cases, these fraudulent submissions are the cause of delays that are experienced by law-abiding taxpayers when SARS has no other option but to verify the information that was submitted by scammers to SARS.”
Taxpayers found willingly participating in such fraudulent activity in expectation of an illegal refund will be prosecuted along with the scammers.
SARS urges honest citizens who suspect such criminal activity to provide information SARS. They can contact SARS anonymously using the number 0800 00 2870 or by anonymously completing an online form available on the SARS website www.sars.gov.za