The tax amnesty for undeclared foreign assets, which the government had hoped would yield billions of rand in additional revenue, has been a flop, with just a few hundred applications made ahead of next week’s deadline. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has so far handled 499 applications only under the special voluntary disclosure programme, which allows taxpayers with undeclared foreign assets to come forward before August 31 to regularise their tax affairs. Although tax lawyers said there had been a last-minute flurry of interest in the past two weeks, sources said the programme had so far brought to light hardly more than a 10th of the nearly R40bn hoped for. Tax experts blamed the low level of interest in the programme partly on the size of the levies applicants had to pay and the complexity and risk of the process. Taxpayers are required to provide a detailed explanation of how and when the money was sent offshore and who was involved."It is a little more expensive and ...

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