The South African Revenue Service (SARS) considered requests from various interested parties and today extended the date of submission for public responses to the Discussion Paper on Tax Avoidance.
The Discussion Paper was released by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel on 3 November last year. The initial deadline for public submissions or comment was today, 31 January 2006.
In order to accommodate requests for an extension from, among others, the Banking Association of South Africa as well as from the South African Chamber of Business (SACOB)/Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), SARS has extended the deadline to 28 February 2006 to allow further submissions.
In view of the long consultative process which SARS expects will follow the new deadline, it will not be possible to consider further requests for extensions beyond 28 February 2006.
The decision to accommodate the requests from the business sector is also motivated by the importance for SARS of the proposals in the Discussion Paper. The Discussion Paper is a precursor to amendments to Section 103 of the Income Tax Act which SARS expects will be introduced later this year.
The Discussion Paper reviews the effectiveness of applicable legislation on impermissible tax avoidance which is contained in Section 103 of the Income Tax Act (Act No. 58 of 1962). It further outlines SARS' views on tax evasion, impermissible tax avoidance, and tax planning and outlines the corrosive effect that impermissible tax avoidance schemes have on levels of compliance and a sustainable revenue base both locally and internationally.
SARS appreciates the responses from interested parties and the debate around tax avoidance the release of the Discussion Paper has generated thus far. Proposals arising from these submissions will be considered in full. SARS will shortly release an Interim Response to comments that have been made public to date. Comments will also be welcome in respect of the Interim Response.
The discussion paper is still available from the SARS web site (http://www.sars.gov.za) and in print from selected SARS offices. Interested parties can send comments to email@example.com on or before Tuesday 28 February 2006 or for the attention of:
Discussion Paper on Tax Avoidance
Private Bag X923
For further media enquiries please contact Adrian Lackay at 012 422 4206 or 083 388 2580.
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE