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Thread: Owe SARS VAT and PAYE - what to do when my company has failed

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    Owe SARS VAT and PAYE - what to do when my company has failed

    Hi all.

    Please bear with me on this, as I am terrified.

    I started working for a friend in 2016 doing sales for his company. I came from being a driver for his father (Deliveries). He was moving on to another company a year later and informed me he would be closing the company down, or I need to take it over. Now please note, the company was not in any trouble at that time. Business was slow, but not running in arrears. He did it with no knowledge of what has happened (Which is on me). To add, we did at that time R120K per month turnover.

    I took it over, as I had no other choice in the matter. I have a family, and coming from being a driver, I couldn't get anything that was matching my salary at the time. My wife was retrenched, and we were basically at our end. The company ran fine for about 6 months or so. Buisness started tanking a bit due to a website hack, and we ran no customers for the month. Our clients come from our website (We are installers of a product). We were now doing roughly R50-R60K per month turnover.

    Needless to say, it got worse and worse. I honestly hoped it would turn around, but it never did. in 2018, I started missing VAT returns, which we did file through our accountant. Then it came to PAYE payments. This got bad in the last year where I have only been able to pay sporadically at best. In Nov last year, we were owing R80K in VAT and PAYE (This is the last statement I got from SARS). The PAYE is from my salary alone. I did not employ anyone fulltime so paid the guys that I knew to help when we had an installation (I kept a receipt book of this. Unusually paid about R1000 a week).

    I received a letter of demand last week stating that we owe them R50K in VAT.

    Here is my thing. We have no assets. Our stock is bought on a need to install basis and I run from my place I live (We live on my parents property). The car I use is mine, and not in the companies.

    What is the right thing and possible thing for me to do? Liquidate? Ask SARS for a repayment option - if they do this, what is the norm with this? How many months do we get? If it's R10K a month, I just cannot, it is literally impossible.

    I want to pay what I owe, and I want to do the right thing. I just don't see how I can.

    I am terrified.

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    Your accountant should be able to assist you in this. Although people see accountants and bookkeepers as an unnecessary expense, you cannot do business without a qualified accountant who can guide you through all the tax regulations. Don't get caught with your pants down!
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