Temporary Write Off of Tax Debt

Are you aware of any temporary write off of a text debt that SARS allowed in the last thirty years?

The reason why we ask is because SARS is in the process of withdrawing all of its temporary debt written off, and imposing the capital amount with penalties and interest.

Remember; SARS is in the business of collecting tax, not of waiving the payment of tax. It will only write off a tax debt if it is in its own interests to do so, for example because it would be impossible or uneconomic to collect the debt. The fact that the taxpayer would suffer hardship if he had to pay the tax debt is irrelevant in this regard, and is not a factor that SARS takes into consideration.

A senior SARS official may decide to temporarily write off an amount of tax debit if satisfied that the tax debt is uneconomical to pursue as described in section 196 at that time. A decision by the senior SARS official to temporarily ‘write of’ an amount of tax debt does not absolve the ‘debtor’ from the liability for that tax debt.

A senior SARS official may at any time withdraw the decision to temporarily ‘write off’ a tax debt if its satisfied that the tax debt is no longer uneconomical to pursue as referred to in section 196 and that the decision to temporarily ‘write off’ would jeopardize the general tax collection effort.

We have had a few cases of this happening now, and if you are aware of temporary write off of your tax debt, please let us know now, so should the matter ever arise; we are aware of it, and we can assist.

Please e-mail Joan (joan@tecfin.co.za); should be aware of any temporary write off!

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