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The South African Revenue Service has warned it plans to take a tougher stance against taxpayers who deliberately avoid their tax obligations. Tax experts say SARS will need to tackle taxpayers’ ignorance and fear — and find ways to bring unregistered companies and individuals into the net. Individuals are the largest source of tax revenue and contributed 37.2% of the total tax revenue collections in 2016-17. According to SARS a total of 27-million tax returns are outstanding, a number that includes 10.2-million for years prior to 2013. Companies have 21.2-million returns outstanding, and individuals 2.95-million. SARS has launched a six-week campaign to increase compliance across all tax types and "prompt" payment of debt. January 31 is the last day for provisional taxpayers to file their tax returns for the 2016-17 tax year. Taxpayers who are registered, but neglect to file returns, are charged a penalty of between R250 and R16,000 a month. Chérie Carstens-Petersen, a tax technica...

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