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SARS unpaid VAT bill now at R19.6bn

Mar 23 2017 12:15
Liesl Peyper

Cape Town – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) delayed a total of R19.6bn of VAT refunds to vendors by the end of February 2017, National Treasury said in response to a parliamentary question.

The Democratic Alliance’s deputy shadow minister of finance Alf Lees asked Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan among other things what the total outstanding value of VAT refunds was for the periods March 1 2016 to February 28 2017, and March 1 2015 to February 29 2016, respectively.

Pointing out that the information provided by SARS could not be verified by National Treasury, Gordhan said the total value of VAT refunds claimed between March 2016 and February 2017 was R129bn, of which R19.6bn was not refunded by February 28 2017.

The total number of VAT claims during this period was 343 674, of which 43 650 claims were not refunded by February 28 2017.

The total value of VAT refunds still being audited as at February 28 2017 was R17.3bn.

“It should be noted that the rand value represents the amount as supplied by the vendor on the return,” Gordhan said, while the number of claims include only returns required during the period in question.

“The information therefore excludes all late returns and/or carry over from previous years.”

As for the period between March 1 2015 to February 29 2016, R128.2bn was claimed of which R18.1bn was not refunded by February 29 2016.

This represents a total number of 341 167 claims, of which 34 132 claims were not refunded by February 29 2016.

The total value of VAT refunds still being audited as at February 29 2016 was R12.2bn.

Gordhan said although he was unable to verify the data provided by SARS, he has approved the request by Tax Ombud Judge Bernard Ngoepe to undertake a systemic investigation into VAT refunds and related matters, given the unusual number of complaints received by the ombud’s office.

Diesel refunds

As for diesel refunds, Gordhan said according to the information provided by SARS the total value of diesel refunds claimed for the period March 1 2016 to February 28 2017 was R2.5bn, of which R657m was not refunded by February 28 2017.

The total number of diesel refunds claimed for the period March 1 2016 to February 28 2017 was 55 547, of which 6 064 claims were not refunded by February 28 2017.

Gordhan repeated that only returns required during the period in question were included. The information therefore excludes all late returns and/or carry over from previous years.

The total value of diesel refunds still being audited as at February 28 2017 was R237m.

For the period between March 2015 and the end of February 2016, the total value of diesel refunds came to R6.7bn of which R806 047 046 was not refunded by February 29 2016.

The total number of diesel refunds claimed for the period March 1 2015 to February 29 2016 was 50 931, of which 7 191 claims were not refunded by February 29 2016.


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sars  |  pravin gor­dhan  |  tax
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