SARS cracking down on moving money abroad – what you need to know

South Africa’s greylisting has had unforeseen knock-on effects on processes regarding the implementation of tax law.

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According to tax experts at Tax Consulting SA, the greylisting enhanced the scrutiny of cross-border transactions, particularly those where money leaves South Africa, as a result of worries about the nation’s anti-money laundering efforts.

On February 24, 2023, South Africa was added to the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) global grey list, however this was widely anticipated. Regulations intended to prevent money laundering and terrorist funding were deemed to have loopholes found by the FATF.

To avoid greylisting, which has made doing business with overseas companies more difficult, SARS played a role and established the “Approval International Transfer” or “AIT” Tax Compliance Status (TCS) process.

According to Tax Consulting SA, this procedure requires relevant persons to acquire SARS authorisation before remitting funds out of South Africa, and failing to do so can result in penalties, fines, and even imprisonment.

“By introducing the new approval process, SARS is demonstrating a commitment to preventing financial crime. The AIT process potentially reduces the risk of the more detrimental blacklisting, which follows from failure to cooperate,”

The tax consulting company

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