tax relief from SARS

Tax relief from SARS Picture: File.

FAQ: What can you do if you need tax relief from SARS?

It’s called the Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) and here’s what you can do if you need tax relief from SARS.

tax relief from SARS

Tax relief from SARS Picture: File.

The 2023 tax season started on 7 July 2023, and the deadline to file your return is October 23 2023 for individual taxpayers. But if you’re worried about submitting and are putting it off because you think you need tax relief from SARS, here’s what you can do …


tax relief from SARS
tax relief from SARS is available. Picture: OUTA.

That’s correct, for certain non-compliant taxpayers, you can get tax relief from SARS. The revenue service says historically non-compliant taxpayers have a tax relief lifeline through the SARS Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP).

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The VDP essentially allows non-compliant taxpayers to come clean about past tax indiscretions and any penalties that may have arisen from defaults will be waived. However, according to Tax Consulting South Africa, many practitioners and individual taxpayers are still unaware the SARS VDP even exists or how it works. This is in spite of the program being around since 2011.

ALSO READ: FAQ: What to do if you owe SARS money after eFiling

As the name suggests, VDP is an open-door policy for non-compliant taxpayers to voluntarily disclose any defaults in payments. This includes the disclosure of undeclared income or understatement of any tax liabilities.

ALSO READ: FAQ: Why isn’t my income tax refund bigger?

Tax Consulting South Africa has highlighted the fact that many scared people are unknowingly staying on their sinking, non-compliant tax ship, when there is a lifeline from SARS right there.


tax relief from SARS
Here’s how you can get tax relief from SARS. Picture: File.

The requirements for VDP are simple. They include being a registered taxpayer with SARS and keeping up to date with your tax-filing obligations. Only once you have registered on the SARS eFiling system can you engage in a VDP agreement with SARS.

  • A guide to VDP can be downloaded HERE.
  • Further details on the transfer of PAYE for VDP purposes can be found HERE.


tax relief from SARS
Tax relief from SARS is available. Picture: FIle.
  • To receive tax relief from SARS, your disclosure must be voluntary, full and complete in all material respects.
  • A disclosure cannot involve a default within five years of a similar/previous default.
  • Your disclosure must be made in the prescribed form and manner.
  • SARS can waive any penalties that may have arisen from the default and grant full immunity from criminal prosecution, except in instances of gross negligence and intentional tax evasion.

ALSO READ: What’s new with SARS eFiling this tax season?

With tax season closing on October 23 2023, non-compliant taxpayers should seize the opportunity SARS VPD offers, as the revenue service is continuing its strict scrutiny of non-compliance.

If you are a non-compliant taxpayer in need of tax relief froms SARS, you can email: or call 0800 864 613 for more information.

ALSO READ: How do you track your tax return ONLINE?

For any other queries about your tax return, send us an email at, or you can send us a WhatsApp on +27 60 011 0211.

Don’t forget that you have until October 23 2023 to file a tax return.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, tax or legal advice. For further details consult the SARS website or get in touch with a tax specialist.