SARS and NPA: Joint media statement on prioritising tax crime
The Commissioner of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) – Mr Edward Kieswetter, and the National Director for Public Prosecution (NDPP), Advocate Shamila Batohi, have agreed to further enhance collaboration and deal with key challenges of tax crime and non-compliance, eroding the tax revenue base and the integrity of the tax system.
Whilst this enhanced collaboration covers a number of aspects, this immediate focus will be the non-compliance by employers, who deduct Pay as You Earn (PAYE), never turn those taxes over to SARS, and do not file their returns when required, as well as other general corrupt activities.
The NDPP and the Commissioner have expressed their deep concern about the culture of impunity and brazen acts of corruption that are reported daily. Consequently, the aspirations of a better future for all South Africans, are ruined by the unethical and criminal behaviour by some private and public sector actors.
They acknowledge that whilst the NPA and SARS have different mandates, they share a common purpose. They referred to the fact that there is an understandable hunger for people to be held accountable for corruption. This must manifest itself through dealing with the culture of non-compliance with the legal obligation by taxpayers.
To give expression to this collaboration, the Criminal Investigations Division within SARS will allocate dedicated capacity, and work closely with the dedicated capacity of the NPA in its Specialised Tax Units to prepare solid cases ready for prosecution. This will be done in a coordinated manner across the country. The joint venture to prosecute will initially focus on the non-compliant employers.
SARS Criminal Investigations Division has already handed over 30 non-compliant employers to the NPA, and are working to identify and prioritise more cases. The SARS regional leaders in criminal investigators and the NPA regional directors of the STUs will enrol these cases on a specific date for each region.
For further information, please consult SARSMedia or call Sipho Ngwema, NPA National Spokesperson, at 081 253 8889.