Over the past few years, SARS has accumulated a lot of data on taxpayers and has improved its systems in terms of using this data to pick up errors or omissions by taxpayers. Legislation has enabled Revenue to increase its interrogation powers.
SARS has substantially escalated the verification and audit process
The number of audits conducted in 2012/2013 rose by 42% over the previous year. 15% of taxpayers were audited in 2012/2013.
Many taxpayers will have received a verification query after completing their 2013 returns. Taxpayers need to understand that this is the beginning of a process that could lead to paying more tax and/or becoming embroiled in an alternative dispute resolution procedure, objection and appeal, a tax audit and finally appearing in court.