Those of you who know a bit about me, know that I've had some 'challenges' in the past few years.
I am sole member of a CC, and was always personally responsible for submitting returns, VAT and others.
When I got ill some two years back, I appointed a 'very respectable' auditing firm, and paid them, upfront, R12 000.00 to handle my tax affairs going forward (and a couple of months already past) while I was fighting the disease.
Every time I called, which was every two months, the answer was always that everything was under control, and that I had nothing to worry about. (Since there was no business going through this entity, I was under the impression that 'zero returns' were submitted. Bear in mind that I also paid the (then CIPRO) fees over to this firm.
When the proverbial hit the fan, and I took back control of my life, I realized that NOTHING had been done by the auditors, not even the 'active months' returns' (in the run-up to my diagnosis). SARS had de-registered my VAT number, CIPC had de-registered my CC.
It took two months to get my paperwork back from the auditing firm, and now it appears that most of my documents have been 'misplaced', even my bank statements.
Nevertheless, Standard Bank was kind enough to request statements for me from archives, and only wanted to charge me R10 000.00, for a complete set of statements for two years. (I'm a bit OCD - otherwise I would have requested just the missing months). Needless to say, some of my toys are still not back in the cot.
I then decided to calm down and work with what I have, and I have paid and rectified CIPC, VAT number was reinstated, and I started doing, and paying 'back-returns' at two VAT periods per month. I sent SARS a letter explaining the situation, and asking their patience, while I sort this out.
Last week I got a Final Letter of Demand from SARS, for ALL outstanding returns, due in 10 days.
I re-sent the letter, and requested postponement to sort it out. Then they gave me until 3 January. Anybody in their right mind will realize that it is not possible for me to do this in such a short period, especially over December, and while working seven days a week to get my company back on track.
I was told by a tax practitioner to just submit zero returns if unsure, and for periods where documentation is missing, but I don't want to be dishonest. SARS is going to do an audit on the zero returns anyway then, aren't they?
What do you suggest I do? How does one handle missing documentation, seeing as bank records are obtainable, but copy expense invoices not so much?
And is there anybody that can assist in getting a further deadline extension?