So, first off, please respond if you have something constructive to say. I'm beating myself up plenty - I don't need help with that.
I haven't filed a tax return since 2004. I was employed to that point, and all my tax as an employee was sorted. Then I went freelance, got registered as a Provisional Tax Payer, and then proceeded to work freelance job by freelance job. I never put money aside for tax, and I never filed any returns or paid any provisional tax - I always just paid for the stuff right in front of me.
I started working as an employee again Feb last year, and PAYE has been deducted and paid since then.
Why am I in this situation? Initially, I simply couldn't afford to, living hand to mouth (which is pretty much how I've lived since then). Then I kept putting it off, telling myself that I'll sort it out later. Then, it became this big monster that I didn't know how to deal with. And it's not going away.
Well, it's later, and I'm pretty damn scared, and I need to do whatever I can to fix it. I have a family dependent on me for livelihood and I so totally don't know what to do or where to start.
I've just had a tax accountant check my status with SARS.
I've got outstanding IT12's 2005 - 2011, 10 outstanding IRP6's, and despite not having submitted any returns, they have it on record that I owe something like R11000 in income tax.
I have no assets and no savings. My whole income goes to expenses. I have steady work, and due to cutbacks in living arrangements I am shortly going to be able to pay something like R10000 a month over and above my normal tax - as I do work after hours as well - which I've not been taxed on yet.
I certainly don't want to lie to SARS. Everything I've earned has come through my bank accounts. I've kept good records of the invoices I've been paid on. I'm pretty sure I can get the paperwork together. My concern is paying it all back. If they want a big lump sum, I don't know if I'll be able to raise it. As it is, I'll have to borrow it. How much do I owe? Alot. More than I can currently think about without wanting to be sick. And then there's penalties as well.
No doubt by this stage, you're shaking your head and saying 'Ai, vooi tog' and thinking, 'Man, I'm so glad this isn't me.' Trust me, I know.
At this point I am quite panicked, and I would sincerely appreciate having someone guidance as to what I should do to when presenting my case to SARS, what the likelihood is that I'll be able to repay this over time, or what. I want to pay what I owe, even if it takes me 20 years. As long as I can keep working and providing for my family.