Sars wins big in R1bn tax evasion case

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has welcomed a ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) to end a tax evasion dispute with Africa Cash & Carry following the discovery of irregularities in the wholesaler’s accounting books.

In a statement on Friday, the revenue service embraced the judgement to uphold the Tax Court’s previous ruling of a 200% additional tax imposition on the wholesaler after an initial investigation exposed the group for manipulating its accounting books.

“The investigation revealed the under-declaration of sales and the manipulation of stock figures and resulted in estimated income tax and VAT assessments, which were disputed by the taxpayer," Sars said.

Sars added that the court had not only upheld the earlier verdict by dismissing the appeal against it, but also by issuing a costs order against it.

The revenue service also reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to combat tax evasion, citing “ghost exports”, non-recording of the sale of cell phone airtime, manipulation of loan accounts, claiming fraudulent invoices for VAT and income tax purposes, utilisation of intermediary shell companies to create invoices, and sales suppression systems as major concerns. 

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