Panama Papers: Tax evaders beware

South Africans who find themselves exposed for tax evasion via the Panama Papers should declare all their offshore assets now and not wait for the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP), which only kicks in from October 1 2016 to March 31 2017.

The SVDP, which was announced by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his 2016 budget speech, offers an opportunity for non-compliant taxpayers to voluntarily disclose offshore assets at less cost than it would cost for doing so through the regular VDP, which is already in effect and runs indefinitely.

For more on the cost of disclosure through the normal VDP, see this article.

Vlok Symington, group executive for product oversight, legal and policy at Sars says that, under the normal VDP, there is no cap on the number of years that the revenue service can go back in terms of looking at investment income, whereas under the SVDP, only the

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