The South African Revenue Service (SARS) on Wednesday, 17 May 2006 met executive members of the South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) in Brooklyn, Pretoria in order to discuss the implementation of draft legislation around the Small Business Tax Amnesty.
The meeting also discussed a programme of co-operation between the industry and SARS.
On 12 May this year SARS and the National Treasury released the Small Business Tax Amnesty and Amendment of Taxation Laws Bill for public comment. The deadline for public submissions or comment on the draft legislation is 5 June 2006.
The Portfolio Committee on Finance will conduct public hearings on the Bill from 2 June 2006.
The meeting with SANTACO acknowledged the challenges small business owners may face to regularise their affairs and to become part of a formalised business environment as a result of past non-compliance with tax and revenue laws. The meeting further acknowledged that many small businesses, particularly in the taxi industry, were historically marginalised, were excluded from the economic mainstream, operated informally and remained outside the tax system.
SANTACO representatives expressed their commitment to encourage tax compliance and highlighted the need for further tax education and assistance during the amnesty process as well as with the general legal and administrative requirements to become tax compliant businesses.
SARS was encouraged by the spirit of the meeting and views the engagement as the first of a series of interactions with business owners and the public in general to further raise awareness around the Small Business Tax Amnesty. Technical teams from SARS and SANTACO will meet again during the course of the next two weeks to discuss programmes of tax education and to plan further workshops with taxi owners on a provincial and regional scale.
The first public engagement with a broader spectrum of small business owners and representative stakeholder groups will take place on Thursday 25 May 2006 during a Small Business Imbizo in East London. SARS will conduct further Izimbizo in the economic centres of other provinces and regions to encourage public participation for the Small Business Tax Amnesty.
SARS will also meet other representative Taxi organisations to facilitate broad stakeholder participation from this sector during the first phase of the Amnesty which will take effect on 1 August 2006.
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE