Sars said about 670 cases were currently being investigated. Photo: Leon Nicholas/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Revenue Service (Sars) reported on Thursday that it had achieved 30 successful convictions in VAT and Personal Income Tax fraud cases, involving R65 million between April and September this year. 

This represents a 100 percent success rate in convictions relating to the fraud cases that were investigated by Sars criminal investigators and finalised by the courts during this time, according to Mogola Makola, the chief officer of enforcement, revealed. 

Makola said in total, the courts finalised 74 cases during this time, which represented the first six months of Sars’s 2018/19 financial year. The cases related to charges of bribery, fraud and theft and contravention of the Income Tax Act, VAT Act and Customs & Excise Act.

Sars said about 670 cases were currently being investigated and include 268 suspected VAT fraud cases and 63 investigations into tax practitioners in connection with suspected abuse of the tax system, for instance, by claiming fraudulent donation, business or medical expense deductions on the Personal Income Tax returns they submit to Sars on behalf of their clients. 

VAT fraud mainly takes place through fraudulent refund claims, supported by fictitious entities or on behalf of bogus entities.

A total of 226 fraud cases relating to under or non-declaration of income are also being investigated while 4 encompassing national investigations deal with organised crime syndicates, operating in the tobacco industry amongst others.

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