7 March 2023 – Mindful of the considerable public interest and concern in the affairs of the taxpayers Mr Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, Ntaba Nyoni Estate and Ntaba Nyoni Feedlot, SARS has received the consent of the Taxpayers in terms of section 69 (6) of the Tax Administration Act no 28 of 2011 (TAA), to make a public statement. Without the express written consent of the Taxpayer and the Public Officers in terms of section 69(6) of the TAA, SARS would be prohibited by law from making this statement. The companies’ consent was provided by the Public Officer for each of the companies respectively appointed in terms of section 246 of the TAA, 2011 and responsible for all acts and matters of a company for tax purposes.
Consequently, SARS wishes to provide clarity in the following regard:
In terms of section 40 of the TAA, SARS may select a person for inspection, verification, or audit based on any consideration relevant for the proper administration of a tax act, including on a random or a risk assessment basis. Taxpayers are detected for compliance interventions based on the sophisticated case selection methodology developed by SARS that draws on available data from statutory declarations by taxpayers, data from third party providers as well as other sources. SARS conducts its compliance interventions with utmost care and independence. Based on this approach, the taxpayers in question have over the years been selected for audit by SARS well ahead of the start of media publications concerning the companies and this has continued since then.
Through its staff and advisors, the taxpayers have always cooperated fully with SARS during the audits and there has been no interference or resistance from the taxpayers, their staff, or any other party.
The SARS Commissioner, Edward Kieswetter, confirms: “At no stage was I approached by President Ramaphosa, or anyone on his behalf, with any request related to his personal and/or the business entities in question.”
The Commissioner further states: “In taking this exceptional step to disclose the tax status of the President, with his written consent, SARS would also encourage other high profile political office bearers and leaders in society to consider taking this proactive step as part of their commitment to transparency. This would go a long way towards building confidence in our country’s institutions.”
To date, audits have been concluded without any adverse tax findings. SARS wishes to confirm that the taxpayers are compliant with their tax obligations to date.
SARS has always assured the public that we act without fear, favour or prejudice and will continue to do so in respect of any taxpayer and trader regardless of their position or place in society. Together with treating every taxpayer with the confidentiality granted in law, this level of professional integrity, beyond reproach, is fundamental to the public having confidence in SARS. We will always honour these principles and will not favour anyone regardless.
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