Beware of SARS scam

By Jessica Anne Wood

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has come out warning small businesses against an ongoing scam where fraudsters pretend to be SARS representatives and approach small businesses demanding ‘outstanding payments’ on undeclared taxes.

“Over the last few months, there has been a few incidents that have been reported to SARS of scam artists that have demanded money to wipe off debts,” revealed SARS.

If you are aware of any outstanding amounts owed to SARS, you must resolve this with SARS directly. SARS suggested that if a person has any queries, they contact the SARS contact centre on 0800 00 7277 to validate their status.

When paying outstanding tax, VAT or duties, these must be paid directly into the SARS bank account. “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,” stated SARS.

If you are aware of any suspicious behaviour, this can be reported to SARS via its Anti-Corruption and Fraud Hotline via the toll free at 0800 00 2870.

“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,” added SARS.

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