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SARS Boasts High Conviction Rate For Tax Crimes

by Robert Lee, Tax-News.com, London

01 June 2015


The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has said that it achieved a 92 percent conviction rate on cases involving tax and customs fraud that it handed over to the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa in the last financial year.

According to SARS, most of the cases involved high-net-worth individuals, those filing fraudulent value-added tax (VAT) refunds, and those engaged in income tax fraud.

Over the 2014/5 financial year, there were 256 individuals and entities convicted in cases involving ZAR196m (USD16.2m), with fines totaling ZAR9.6m also issued.

These cases included 32 convictions for VAT fraud, 73 convictions for income tax fraud, eight for tobacco-related crimes, and nine involving the construction industry (largely for tender fraud), among others.

A further 30 cases were approved for criminal prosecution in May 2015, SARS said.

"These convictions illustrate that SARS has the capability to investigate tax crimes effectively despite recent speculation that its enforcement capability has been diminished," the tax authority stated.

TAGS: individuals | South Africa | tax | enforcement | tax authority | construction | Africa | Tax

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