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Voluntary Disclosure Programme

What is the VDP?

The SARS Voluntary Disclosure Programme (VDP) allows taxpayers to voluntarily disclose previously undeclared tax liabilities and avoid penalties in exchange for full compliance. Launched in 2012, it aims to encourage tax honesty and efficient use of resources.

Key Updates

  • The Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP) for foreign assets ended in August 2017. Regular VDP still covers offshore income.
  • Tax thresholds have increased: Check the SARS website for current values.
  • The VDP01 application form is now VDP04 and submitted through eFiling.

Benefits of applying:

  • Avoid criminal prosecution for disclosed tax offences.
  • Reduce understatement penalties based on a sliding scale.
  • Receive 100% relief on administrative non-compliance penalties.


  • Anyone can apply, including individuals, companies, and representatives.
  • The disclosure must involve a past default not previously disclosed within five years.
  • Complete and accurate information is crucial for a valid application.

Application process:

  1. Gather relevant documentation to support your disclosure.
  2. Register on SARS eFiling and access the VDP04 form.
  3. Complete the form detailing the default, reasons, and supporting evidence.
  4. Submit the form electronically through eFiling.

Evaluation and outcome:

  • SARS assesses the application and requests additional information if needed.
  • You may receive a non-binding private opinion on the potential outcome.
  • SARS issues a decision on the application and, if successful, a VDP agreement.

Voluntary Disclosure Agreement:

  • This contract outlines the granted relief, payment terms, and obligations for both parties.
  • You must comply with the agreement to retain the benefits.
  • Breach of terms can lead to cancellation of the agreement and potential penalties.


  • This information is for general guidance and does not constitute professional tax advice.
  • Consult a qualified tax practitioner for personalized recommendations.

Additional notes:

  • Complete and accurate disclosure is essential for successful VDP application and avoiding future penalties.
  • Stay updated on changes to the VDP program and tax regulations by visiting the SARS website.