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SARS hails businessman's court loss as boost for tax compliance

Feb 28 2020 21:06
Khulekani Magubane, Fin24

The SA Revenue Service has hailed the Constitutional Court's dismissal of an application for leave to appeal by a businessman in a decade-old tax case as a victory in its drive to boost revenues and improve tax compliance.

This comes after the highest court in South Africa dismissed Gary van der Merwe's application for leave to appeal an eviction order requiring him to vacate his home, which is held by Zonnekus Mansion.

The Constitutional Court held that the application bore no reasonable prospect of success.

In a statement, the tax agency said its investigation originated from a Financial Intelligence Centre report regarding a suspicious transaction involving the amount of approximately R142 million. 

"The Constitutional Court order paved the way for the liquidators of Zonnekus to finally take control of the last remaining asset of Zonnekus. The sheriff has evicted Mr Van Der Merwe from the property and placed it under the control of the liquidators."

SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter said on Friday that he welcomed the victory in the case which dates back 10 years.

"This court victory shows that ... the organisation will continue to confront the recalcitrant taxpayers. In this respect, SARS will make it costly for those who are determined to be non-compliant and will oppose vexatious and frivolous litigation up to the highest court of the land," Kieswetter said.

Tax crime, like corruption, is not a victimless crime, he said.

On the sidelines of Tito Mboweni's budget speech on Wednesday, the commissioner reiterated that the agency's ability to collect revenues had been compromised in the state capture era, which undermined general tax compliance.

sars  |  edward kieswetter  |  tax
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