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SA’s multinational tobacco dealer, Martin Fraser Wingate-Pearse, has been ordered to pay Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan a huge sum for legal costs for alleging that he was part of a ‘rogue unit’ while SARS Commissioner.
The recent dismissal of an urgent application by Mark Lifman and his associates to hold on to their assets clearly demonstrates the perils of being passive in dealing with SARS, says Business Day journalist Amanda Visser.
Controversial Cape Town businessman Mark Lifman has turned to the SCA after losing his latest bid to stop SARS from seizing his assets in order to recover outstanding taxes amounting to R388m.
The Western Cape High Court has ended a five-year cat-and-mouse chase between Cape Town businessman Mark Lifman and the taxman over more than R352m. A TimesLIVE report notes SARS has been trying to recover the money from Lifman and his 35 companies and trusts since 2014.
SARS has offered clarity for companies that offer transport services to their employees. While the Income Tax Act stipulates that any service paid for by an employer for the private or domestic use of an employee is deemed a taxable benefit, SARS, recognising the necessity of companies’ providing transport for their employees, made provision for this to attract ‘no value’ for tax.
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SARS has brought a vexatious litigant application in the Western Cape High Court with the intention of silencing Cape Town businessman Gary van der Merwe, and – says Business Report – put an end to his attempts to expose what he claims to be fraud and corruption by the revenue service, their lawyers and others linked to them.
Two of the biggest casinos in the Western Cape want to be exempt from paying tax on more than R127m of free play they give their most loyal patrons, arguing it should not be calculated as revenue.
SARS is seeking R388m in taxes owed by businessman Mark Lifman and has asked the High Court to put all his business entities under liquidation in an attempt to recoup the money.
SARS is pursuing the local operation of global cigarette giant British American Tobacco (BAT), claiming R143m for alleged tax fraud and evading excise duties, according to Business Times. The alleged contraventions, which BAT-SA denies, saw the company allegedly receiving undue rebates from SARS.
Although former KPMG auditor Jacques Wessels has become the first individual to face any real sanction related to the Estina dairy farm saga, after the NPA provisionally withdrew charges against Gupta family members and business associates in November last year – he has been barred from acting as an auditor – criminal charges may yet flow from the incident.
The appointment – announced late yesterday – of Edward Kieswetter as the new SARS Commissioner, with effect from 1 May, has already run into controversy, with the EFF, strong supporters of axed Commissioner Tom Moyane, threatening legal action.
A KZN businesswoman has been sentenced to seven years in jail for defrauding the SARS of nearly R4m. Saraspathie Vallee (47) – the sole owner Gutterpride Trading – pleaded guilty to VAT fraud and contravening the Prevention of Organised Crime Act. She was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment by the Durban Regional Court, notes TimesLIVE.
SARS, acting on a warrant of execution obtained in the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) against controversial businessman Adriano Mazzotti, began attaching the tycoon’s movable property yesterday, notes Legalbrief. According to the court document, the warrant is for the payment of R33.95m plus interest, which SARS claims Mazzotti owes it in terms of the Customs and Excise Act.
Tigon-accused Sue Bennett has until Monday to respond to a request from trial Judge Brian Spilg that she put any admissions she is prepared to make on the table. Moneyweb notes that Bennett and Gary Porritt are on trial in the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg) on more than 3 000 counts of fraud, racketeering and contraventions of the Income Tax Act and the Prevention of Organised Crime Act relating to the collapse of financial services group Tigon.
A recent Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) judgment of Milnerton Estates Limited v Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (1159/2017)  ZASCA 155 has confirmed that when a property developer enters into an agreement with a buyer to transfer the property, even if the developer only actually gets paid in a subsequent tax year, the income is deemed to have accrued to the developer at that date.
Underwear model Candice van der Merwe (26) has given notice to the Minister of Finance of a summons for R1bn for constitutional damages, according to Rapport report. The model says in her notice to the Minister that she was taunted for years by SARS regarding a $15.3m donation received from her ‘companion’ at a luxury resort on the Seychelles.
While many SA businesses are either not registered for tax or are paying very little tax, SARS is taking a ‘shotgun’ approach to attacking large tax-compliant corporates. Major SA corporates employ dedicated tax managers who spend between 50% and 80% of their time dealing with multiple queries from multiple SARS offices, claiming they are ‘under siege’.
Sasol Oil has won an appeal lodged with the SCA, over a ruling which required the oil company to pay R1.3bn to SARS. A Fin24 report says the group issued a notice to shareholders indicating that the SCA upheld its appeal against the Tax Court of Johannesburg's ruling in favour of SARS in June 2017.
A Cape Town tax practitioner has been jailed for five years for defrauding SARS of more than R690 000. According to the prosecutor, Advocate Lunga Ntshokoma of the specialised tax unit, John Bantam swindled the taxman over a year while working for a reputable chartered accounting firm.