The problem with Tax
As a taxpayer, your focus is making money and you are excellent at it. Unfortunately (depending on your perspective) SARS’ focus is taking some of that money and they are just as good at taking it as you are making it.
But, being an informed and reasonable person, you know, as Benjamin Franklin once said: “in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, expect death and taxes” and so you (sometime resultantly) accept that SARS will take their fair share. But no doubt, you question is, what exactly is their fair share? Valid question.
The answer: their fair share is whatever tax law allows them to take (so called “tax morality” aside). This would have been simple if tax law was simple, you understood tax law as well as you understand your trade/business and SARS always abided by the law. In our extensive experience practising tax law, this is hardly ever the case because:
- Tax law is tremendously challenging to navigate (even for some auditors, lawyers and accountants who are often our clients);
- You are a specialist in your chosen field/area, not a tax specialist; and
- SARS needs to ensure compliance with tax laws by thousands of taxpayers. It is arguably impossible for SARS to have the best tax experts auditing all taxpayers.
This sets the scene for situations where, unbeknown often to you, SARS (whether by mistake or not) is taking more than their fair share.