Friday, 27 July 2018 – A Free State business woman was sentenced to four years imprisonment and her company fined R1 million for failure to pay business taxes to SARS. Ms Annelene Elmarie Thomas, currently residing in Bloemfontein, was also ordered to pay back all outstanding taxes and levies due to SARS.
Ms Thomas was sentenced in her personal capacity, separate from her former company, Phindana Properties 169, trading as Ed-U-College, which operated a private school in Odendaalsrus. She pleaded guilty to 111 charges of submitting EMP 201 returns without paying the due Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE), Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and Skills Development Levy (SDL) in her personal capacity, and on behalf of Ed-U-College.
In terms of a plea bargain agreement reached with the state, Magistrate B.B. Mahlatsi suspended the sentences wholly but conditionally in the Odendaalsrus Regional Court last week. Ms Thomas was however also ordered to pay back the R786 601 she owes SARS. Failure to adhere to the court order may result in the execution of the imprisonment sentence.
Neo Tsholanku, SARS’ Group Executive: Criminal Investigations welcomed the judgement.
“It serves as a warning to employers that the courts will not tolerate withholding employees’ taxes payable to SARS. Not only does it affect revenue, but it prevents employees from complying with their own tax obligations. In addition, revenue earmarked for UIF and SDL negatively impacts on the unemployed and the training sector,” said Tsholanku.
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