Tshwane, 19 August 2021 – The director of a company found guilty of submitting nil VAT returns while the business was actively trading, has been ordered by the Bloemfontein Regional Court to pay the South African Revenue Service (SARS) an amount of R400 853.
Lefa Tsaoane, the director of the catering and accommodation company Above Limits Trading CC was convicted on ten (10) counts of fraud yesterday (17 August) and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment, wholly suspended for 5 years.
However, following a criminal investigation conducted by SARS, a further condition of the suspended sentence was that the accused reimburse SARS the amount of R400 853, with a payment due on or before 28 February 2024 of R 200 426 and the balance due on or before 31 August 2026.
The director was also sentenced on a separate count to 6 months imprisonment, wholly suspended for 2 years.
The company was sentenced to a fine of R500 000, wholly suspended for 5 years, and to R10 000, wholly suspended for 2 years, on a separate count.
SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter said the organisation is working tirelessly to make it easy to comply by providing clarity and certainty to taxpayers to meet their obligations. Where non-compliant taxpayers engage in fraud, the organisation will ensure that they are prosecuted to the full might of the law. This will make it hard and costly for them.
“We cannot afford such leakage in revenue at any time, but especially now when the country is in economic recovery and facing the effects of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic.
“This kind of behaviour is also particularly inexcusable when government is actually providing relief to companies affected by violence and the pandemic,” Mr Kieswetter said.
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