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Sars Isn’t Finished with Julius Malema Yet

Still an Inconvenient YouthThe South African Revenue Service (Sars) has made “no concession … with respect to the recovery of the current and future outstanding taxes” from Economic Freedom Fighters leader (EFF) Julius Malema.

In a statement on Tuesday‚ the tax collector said it based the decision to withdraw its application to have the provisional sequestration order against Malema made final “after weighing up the issues raised by the judge with the SARS legal counsel”.

A major consideration‚ Sars said‚ was that it still “had several legal instruments available to it to recover outstanding tax debt owed to it by Malema”.

Malema was placed under provisional sequestration in February last year because of a tax debt of R18-million for the period 2005 to 2011. Three months later‚ Malema signed a compromise offer with Sars‚ agreeing to pay R7.2-million.

Sars said in its statement on Tuesday that it is not “bound by the previous compromise agreement and as such will be able to take steps to recover outstanding taxes” as Malema “withdrew his application for the declaratory and interdictory relief”.

“It is important to note that the court made no finding that Sars is bound by the compromise agreement with Malema that it entered into in May 2014‚” the statement said.

“Sars retains its position that the compromise agreement is not binding.

“Hence no concession has been made by Sars‚ with respect to the recovery of the current and future outstanding taxes.”

After Monday’s abandonment of the court action‚ some opposition parties accused the revenue service of allowing itself to be used as a tool by the ruling African National Congress to sideline Malema.

If Sars had succeeded in its application‚ Malema would have been prohibited from sitting in Parliament.

Sars‚ however‚ vowed that it will continue to take the “necessary steps available to it … to recover all tax debts that might be due … without Sars compromising its impartiality and its independence‚ which is a key aspect of its dealings with all taxpayers”.

Source: RDM News Wire
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