Legal Articles and Guides
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.
SARS is getting its money back from a Cape Town businessman‚ his son and their bookkeeper who stole R615 000, notes a TimesLIVE report. Thomas Fortuin‚ Tom-Ross Fortuin and Ivor Carolissen were convicted yesterday of 382 counts, including fraud‚ forgery‚ uttering and failing to submit income tax returns. The men entered into a plea bargain with the state in the Cape Town District Court.
A suspected kingpin of a multimillion-rand abalone enterprise told the Eastern Cape High Court (Port Elizabeth) this week that he was too uneducated to know that he needed to declare tax to the SARS while living the high life. According to a report on the IoL site, Julian Brown, a high school dropout, was testifying at his trial where he is being prosecuted for a string of charges which include racketeering between January 2015 and April 2016.
A Mitchells Plain tax practitioner has been found guilty of more than 100 fraud charges after he submitted false income tax returns for 28 taxpayers, says a Cape Argus report. John Bantam was convicted of 121 counts of fraud by the Bellville Regional Court.