The High Court granted an order on Wednesday, 25 February 1999, in favour of the South African Revenue Service to obtain the share certificates of those taxpayers indebted to SARS, which are currently being blocked in the hands of SANLAM in terms of the previous High Court order, dated 27/11/98. This order underlines the interpretation given to section 74D of the Income Tax Act by SARS whereby SARS may request security ("things" as defined in the Act) for moneys owed. SARS welcomes this interpretation as it allows the Revenue Service to obtain security without taking judgement, which will put SARS on par with other Financial Institutions.
SARS is committed to reduce its current debt of approximately R18 billion and this court ruling will have the impact of reducing the enormous risk linked to unsecured debt.
SARS will request SANLAM to issue the certificates as per the latest court order and will continue to manage each taxpayer's account individually. We are determined to sell the shares where taxpayers have ignored our request to come forward and settle their debt.
As a last opportunity, we invite all taxpayers to contact their local SARS office and settle their debt or make suitable arrangements to settle their accounts. Tax debtors must realise that SARS will, in terms of its mandate to collect taxes, do so to ensure a fair society for all.
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE