9 July 2018

South Africa: Revenue Service On Sentencing of Taxpayers for Failure to Submit Tax Returns

press release

Ten taxpayers have been convicted and sentenced since April 2018 for failure to submit outstanding tax returns. Fines ranging from R2000 to R20 000, as well as admission of guilt fines have been handed down by the courts.

These taxpayers have now submitted their outstanding returns.

South African Revenue Service (SARS) announced in April that it is embarking upon an initiative with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to enforce compliance by prosecuting taxpayers who have failed to submit their tax or VAT returns, after continuous communication with the relevant taxpayers did not yield the required results. See April Statement at 16 April 2018 - SARS, NPA to prosecute taxpayers for outstanding returns.

The taxpayers who have been convicted now have a criminal record, as it is a criminal offence not to submit a tax return within the prescribed time for any of the tax types a taxpayer is registered for in terms of the Tax Administration Act No. 28 of 2011 (TAA), specifically Section 234 (d).

Since April, the NPA has issued 35 summonses to taxpayers and VAT vendors to face criminal charges relating to their failure to submit returns. To date, ten cases have been finalised and 20 cases have been remanded after the first appearance of the relevant taxpayers in court. Some taxpayers have opted to make representations to the NPA.

An additional 24 cases have been handed over to the police for further investigation, while 25 cases are currently still under investigation by SARS criminal investigations for handover to the relevant authorities for further investigation and possible prosecution. The courts have issued three warrants of arrest to taxpayers who failed to appear in court after being summonsed to face criminal charges for non-submission of tax returns.

The following taxpayers, in alphabetical order according to first names, have been convicted and sentenced:

Mr Anapurani Samson Joseph representing Tidal Investments CC in Port Shepstone

Mr Christopher John Fletcher

Mr Farhad Ebrahim Limalia representing Aquawood Linen CC in Durban

Mr Kevin Trevor Benjamin Steele, and Ms Suzanna Magdalena Steele representing Thermo Dynamic Cooling Solutions CC in Durban

Mr Michael Sonnyboy Moloi and Ms Regina Pulane representing Happy Recordings and Transcriptions CC in Johannesburg

Mr Niraj Ramral representing SPS Distributors Pty Ltd in Port Shepstone

Mr Pieter Yzelle Morrison representing Taxkon Ficksburg (PTY)Ltd

Mr Sivalingam Govender Trading as Trans SA in Durban

Mr Thinyane Duncan Leboea representing Qwaqwa Funeral Parlour CC

Mr Tsholofelo Teko Modise

Issued by: South African Revenue Service

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