Please consider the following hypothetical scenario.
A postgraduate student is studying on a R140k pa scholarship. During her studies, she does a once-off contractual job for a small company.
For this she gets paid R30k, but for a R10k bonus, she agrees to be paid R90k into her bank account. This is done so that their funding requirements are met, when in fact, the extra R50k will be paid to another worker. She must then cash out R50k and give it back, in cash, to the company so that they can pay the other worker.
She recognizes that she has to pay tax, but as she is a student, she must first register with SARS. She phones SARS to try and find out how to fill in the forms, but they are clueless and tell her to get IRPs and ITs andsoforth from the company, which the company cannot give since she is not an employee. She decides not to register.
Let us say, that 3 years later, still being on a scholarship, her conscience begins to bother her. She begins to worry in all manners, especially about the possibility of getting a criminal record 5 or 7 years down the line, because of her one indiscretion. She especially worries how a criminal record might hamper her chances of applying for citizenship in say Canada or Australia.
She goes through her online bank statements, trying to find the record of payment 3 years ago, but the bank does not keep records for that long online. Suddenly she can't remember if the payment was made once or in two installments over two different tax years.
In this hypothetical world, she now has to make a choice. She thinks that if she can't even find the records, how will SARS ever know about it or find it. She thinks that it will do more harm than good to try and reconcile. She thinks that there is a very high probability, with no more indiscretions, that this will forever be forgotten. She thinks that SARS has much bigger fish to fry, and that most people audited by SARS are actually the ones registered with them. She is not registered in this hypothetical world.
What would you recommend for such a hypothetical girl to do?