5 ways to save yourself tax

5 ways to save yourself tax. Picture: FIle.

Good news: TAX RELIEF is at hand for embattled taxpayers in 2023

Here’s what you need to qualify for SARS VDP tax relief this year.

5 ways to save yourself tax

5 ways to save yourself tax. Picture: FIle.

With 2023 tax filing kicking off in two days’ time, on Friday July 7 2023, SARS says much-needed tax relief is at hand for certain non-compliant taxpayers.

ALSO READ: One major mistake to AVOID on your income tax return

That’s correct, not every taxpayer looks forward to a smooth, uneventful filing process each year. The good news is historically non-compliant taxpayers have been granted 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 for past indiscretions and waive any penalties that may have arisen from default.


tax relief
There is tax relief for non-compliant taxpayers. Image via Adobe Stock.

However, according to Tax Consulting South Africa, many practitioners and individual taxpayers are still unaware of the VDP or how it works. This is in spite of the program being around since 2011. (Zolpidem)

ALSO READ: WHAT TO DO if you receive a SARS auto assessment in 2023

As the name suggests, VDP is an open-door policy for non-compliant taxpayers to voluntarily disclose any defaults in tax payments that may result in penalties. This includes the disclosure of under-declared income or exclusion of any tax liabilities.

ALSO READ: 7 ways to file your tax return with ease

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


tax relief
Picture: FIle.

The requirements for VDP are simple. They include being a registered taxpayer with SARS and keeping up to date with tax filing obligations. Only once you have registered on the SARS eFiling website or SARS MobiApp, 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.


  • The 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 of 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.

With tax season opening this Friday, 7 July 2023, non-compliant taxpayers should seize the opportunity with SARS VPD, as the revenue service is continuing its strict scrutiny of non-compliance.

ALSO READ: 6 things to look for on your 2023 SARS auto assessment

If you are a non-compliant taxpayer in need of tax relief you can email SARS at vdp@sars.gov.za or call 0800 864 613 for more information.

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.