Tax penalties – What must SARS prove?

Tax penalties – What must SARS prove?

SARS has the power to impose severe penalties on any taxpayer failing to declare or pay taxes in accordance with law. For example, in a case recently before the Tax Court, a corporate taxpayer was audited by SARS and found to have overstated input VAT.  It was assessed (after partial allowance of an objection) for – Some R16m in tax, plus 200% “additional tax” - R32m, plus 10% penalties - R1.6m, plus Late payment interest - R5m. (more…)
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The Wages Of Fraud: 15 Years In Prison

The Wages Of Fraud: 15 Years In Prison

“White collar criminals who commit offences of a certain magnitude must not be permitted a soft landing” (extract from judgment below) The recent “J Arthur Brown” judgment by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) has received a lot of media attention, and victims of serious crime will take heart from the Court’s robust approach. (more…)
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Beware Prescription: The Tale Of The “Watertight Case” That Died A Sad And Sudden Death

Beware Prescription: The Tale Of The “Watertight Case” That Died A Sad And Sudden Death

“Sad is the day when a party with a watertight case comes to court and he is stopped in his tracks by a sudden death due to a fatal blow from a watertight defence of prescription. The present matter is a classic case of this nature” (extract from judgment below) Here’s another warning from our courts about the dangers of procrastination when it comes to matters of law. (more…)
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“Agree, for the Law is costly”: Use the New Mediation Rules

“Agree, for the Law is costly”: Use the New Mediation Rules

“Agree, for the law is costly” (old proverb) Our justice system has just taken an exciting new step towards broadening access to justice. From 1 December a new “court-annexed” mediation procedure will be available (piloting initially in Gauteng and North West) to help resolve disputes without the high costs, delays and hostilities often associated with litigation. (more…)
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Are you about to forfeit your annual leave?

The Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) sets a minimum of 15 annual days’ leave, and provides that this leave must be taken within 6 months of the end of your annual leave cycle. Clearly this is to encourage you to follow the healthy route of taking your leave regularly rather than accumulating it by working without a break for years on end. Until recently however there have been conflicting court decisions as to whether or not such leave is automatically forfeited if not taken within the 6 month period. (more…)
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Developers: Register or Regret

Developers: Register or Regret

Residential property developers need to note the recent Constitutional Court judgment confirming that you must register with the NHBRC (National Home Builder’s Registration Council) before you conclude a building contract or commence building – if you don’t (or if you register late) you cannot enforce payment.  In fact you commit a criminal offence just by accepting any payment. It is not enough that whichever building contractor/s you use to do the actual construction is/are registered – bothyou as developer and your contractor/s must be registered. [ad name="goldschmidt inline post"] Don’t get this wrong! The developer in question only registered with…
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Selling property? Watch your wording!

Selling property? Watch your wording!

When you agree on a sale, ensure that your agreement is both clear and comprehensive – or risk the pitfalls of litigation. A case recently before the High Court (on appeal from a District Magistrates Court) involved the sale of a furnished apartment, which the buyer intended to let out as holiday accommodation.  A clause in the sale agreement provided that all furniture and crockery in the apartment was included in the sale at a cost of R80,000, but no inventory of the movables was attached to the agreement. [ad name="goldschmidt inline post"] Subsequently the seller prepared an inventory, which the buyer…
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Property Buyers: Don’t pay the Seller’s old rates without legal advice!

You buy your dream house but are shocked to learn that (a) the seller still owes the municipality for old rates and taxes and (b) you can’t get a new electricity account unless and until you settle all these arrears.  You point out how unfair it is that you are being asked to pay someone else’s debts, but the municipality won’t budge.  What can you do? Regular readers (see “Rates Clearance – a New Risk for Buyers?”) will remember the controversy over whether buyers might be exposed to this type of claim in respect of rates older than 2 years i.e.…
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