I got a call from a SARS official about a month ago saying I owed SARS R70 000. I almost fell down the stairs I was on at the time of the call. I could not believe it and scheduled a meeting with the official.
Fearing that they are probably going to confuse me with lots of SARS terminology, I phoned the company that handles my TAX return and asked them to organize a representative to come with me to the meeting. A few hours later a lady called asking the details of the SARS representative and she would contact him and see what they can sort over the phone.
The next day I got a call back from her saying that there is no need to have the meeting and she has canceled it. I requested advice on how to move forward and they said they would look into the matter and contact me back. Turns out according to the accounting firm, I do owe SARS R70 000 because of my travel allowance.
Now the strange thing to me is that this is the first I've heard about it, and according the accounting firm it dates back to the year 2000 which means all the arrears and intrest ect... now adds up to R70K. It was a hard pill to swallow. I asked them for advice on how to solve the problem, and they sent me documentation called "COLLECTION INFORMATION STATMENT FOR INDUVUDUALS" .
Which basically is a request to SARS for me to pay off the amount on a monthly basis.
Subsequently I spoke to our HR department and asked them how I can owe this amount seeing that I'm a normal salary employee. Turns out that they have been giving me a R3500 travel allowance for the last 7 years and admitted that it is now agents the law and because they face penalties from SARS they corrected it a few months back.
It took some time to get all the documentation that SARS required (Bank Statements, Credit Card statements, Life insurance, car insurance, clothing accounts, the list goes on.)
I sent all the information on to my accountant and got a call from the SARS official today saying that they have not received it yet, and said my accountant was slack with returning phone calls. The representative was very upset, and I explained that I did submit the information and he must not get upset with me if there is some slack from their side, then he started threatening me saying that SARS in his words will "Banish" my salary and deduct R11 000 for 6 months.
I almost died. For someone like me it financially ruin me. I've got kids to feed bills to pay, and hardly keeping my head above the water as it is. If this happens I will not even be able to pay for food for my kids, send them to school, it's a nightmare, and I'm fearing the worst might come true.
My accountant submitted the documentation to him and a few hours later I got a call asking for me to meet with him this week. I'm really at my end, and don't know what to do. I'll see what happens in the meeting, but if anyone can offer me some advice please?
It's not that I'm not paying my tax, over R60K per year goes to SARS and my accountant submits my TAX returns every year. Can SARS just turn around like this and ruin someone financially, it does not make sense to me, for them to take someone who pays that much per year and through them out on the street (because that is what will happen seeing that I will not even have money to pay for petrol to get to work, and end up getting fired) and miss out on that R60K they get from me. Do they not have a heart?