Soon the South Africa Revenue Services (SARS) will descend upon taxpayers in case they are failed to disclose their crypto holding, says David Lesperance – an internationally acclaimed tax consultant and expert. Lesperance believes that by doing so no punitive actions, including the imposition of fines, will be initiated against South African crypto investors, otherwise, they will be treated as “tax evaders”.
South Africa Revenue Services (SARS) has been issuing warnings from time to time to South African crypto investors. The taxpayers have been requested time and time again to ensure tax regulations towards crypto holding. They have been particularly asked to provide details of crypto assets in possession so that their tax liabilities can be determined accordingly. However, so far only a handful of taxpayers have approached the authority and sought clarification for ensuring compliance.
It was further warned by SARS that those found making no disclosure of their crypto assets will be treated as “tax evaders”. In such an event, legal actions will be initiated against them which will also include the imposition of hefty fines and seizure of property, etc.
In these circumstances, Lesperance, who is an acclaimed tax consultant/expert too has been advising clients regarding SARS’s policies. He was recently interviewed by an online crypto news platform namely Bitcoin.com. In his interview, Lesperance commented that South African taxpayers would need to take the warning seriously. He suggested that taxpayers would need to tell themselves that they cannot avoid crypto tax at all.
In his message to the news platform, Lesperance then urged South African taxpayers, especially those with crypto holding, to reach out to SARS. He suggested that the initial step has to be taken by them before SARS would make any move. He said that this is important because if SARS is the first initiator then there would be apparent consequences. To avoid any surprising consequences, it is therefore important that crypto holders should immediately, on their own, go to SARS.
Lesperance further suggested that the public ledgers, which are usually used for crypto, are in fact a document that is advantageous for SARS. He explained that since crypto transactions are based on public ledgers, therefore, whatever reflected in ledgers cannot be altered or amended later. If one were to avoid disclosure to SARS then he simply cannot do so. Otherwise, the person would be treated as a “tax evader” and that too by deliberately concealing the exact facts, said Lesperance.
He is one of the busiest tax consultants in South Africa these days as he has been receiving a huge number of tax consultancy requests. But he is confident in his opinion that whether crypto investors like it or not, they are going to pay crypto tax. However, to save few bucks, they have to pay consultants so that their tax liabilities can be minimized.