Please find herewith extract taken from the FTW Online, for your information
“The freight and trade industry could find itself in the firing line as SA Revenue Service pushes to improve revenue collection in an economically compromised environment. That’s according to Quintus van der Merwe, partner and head of the international trade division at attorneys Shepstone & Wylie. Weak economic growth equals poor revenue collection equals increased government debt accumulation. And the extrapolation of that formula very distinctly means government hunting down all the additional revenue it can find, according to Van der Merwe. “It doesn’t take a doctorate in economics to figure out that a double deficit (our balance of payments on imports versus exports also results in a deficit) does not bode well for us,” he told FTW. Aside from the concerns that this may have for our economy, Van der Merwe stressed that the alarm bells should ring for tax payers. “According to Ronald Reagan, ‘the government is like a baby’s alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other’.
“Thus, regrettably, Joe Public, and for that matter Sars, has very little ability to control government’s spending. But you can take it as given that Sars will be given the instruction to try to satisfy government’s appetite for revenue.” “In the freight industry, Sars will no doubt look at areas of potential non-compliance or high-risk activities under our fiscal legislation in order to collect additional revenue,” he said. “The hounds, so to speak, will be let loose to hunt potential offenders of underdeclaration of duty or other non- compliance. This with a view to raising not only duties, but also penalties under the Customs and Excise Act as well as amounts in lieu of forfeiture of the goods.” Van der Merwe inferred that similar projects could be launched under the other revenue legislation n respect of income tax and VAT. “In short,” he said, “Sars will be set improved targets for the collection of revenue.” That, he strongly suggested, meant that taxpayers and the likes of importers, exporters, clearing and forwarding businesses, the clothing and textile and other high-risk industries would do well to urgently review their business operations. And, out of that, to ensure compliance and to make sure that they are not a possible target for the collection of additional revenues. “Winston Churchill once said: ‘For a nation to attempt to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself by the handle’. In light of finance minister Nene’s revelation as to government debt, Sars will soon be on the prowl to try to offset some of government’s debt.”