Independent Online

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Beware of tax fraudsters targeting e-Filing profiles, warns Sars

Published Dec 8, 2021

Share

CAPE TOWN - The SA Revenue Service (Sars) has cautioned the public to be aware of fraudsters as a number of incidents where fraudulent or unauthorised changes of tax practitioners and / or taxpayers’ e-Filing profiles have been made with the sole intention to defraud Sars and affected taxpayers.

Sars said the fraudulent activities were carried out by individuals who gained access to e-Filing profiles through phishing or other “nefarious scams” to change a legitimate taxpayer’s bank details to divert refunds.

Story continues below Advertisement

These individuals also submit fraudulent tax returns to generate refunds.

“Sars takes all necessary steps to mitigate security breaches of our information systems, and there is no evidence of the Sars systems being hacked. Instead, they remain secure.

“In the past week, several changes were implemented to augment the integrity of the Sars systems. These changes include a process to advise tax practitioners when their access to taxpayer/client profiles are removed as well as an enhanced personal income tax and e-Filing registration process, amongst others. They were done to make it difficult for criminal elements to obtain sensitive information and then perpetrate fraud.

Story continues below Advertisement

“To safeguard e-Filing profiles, tax practitioners are urged to ensure that profile credentials are not shared within their practices or companies. All e-Filing user access within practices or companies must be routinely reviewed, and where required, employee access should be revoked, particularly when an employee leaves the practice or company. The public is urged to always be alert for phishing scams that call for the sharing of sensitive identity and banking details.

“Incidents of fraudulent or unauthorised changes of e-Filing profiles can be reported to the Sars Anti-Corruption and Fraud Hotline on 0800 00 2870. Taxpayers and tax practitioners are urged not to use social media platforms, such as Facebook, to report such incidents or disclose sensitive information.

“Sars Commissioner, Mr Edward Kieswetter, sent a strong message to fraudsters engaged in this criminal enterprise of swindling honest taxpayers. He said, ‘Let me leave no one in doubt about Sars’ capacity and capability to deal a massive blow to those hell-bent on these criminal activities. Working with other law enforcement agencies, Sars will leave no stone unturned to hunt and find these criminals. This is no idle threat, be warned’.”

Story continues below Advertisement

Cape Times

Share