The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today raided sections of the sugar confectionary industry in Cape Town in a clampdown on tax evasion and customs violations in the sector.
The raids follow investigations which uncovered worrying levels of non-compliance in the sector and serious contraventions of the Income Tax, Customs and Excise and Foreign Exchange Acts.
During the investigations, SARS detected numerous cases of fraud, under-evaluation of imports, inflations on exports, duplication of invoices and currency leaving and entering South Africa without proper authorisation.
Some businesses in the industry have also refused to submit tax returns despite numerous requests by SARS.
Most of the targeted entities are large and supply confectionaries and sweets to wholesalers and retail stores throughout the country.
SARS views the violations in a serious light as they have already resulted in massive job losses in the industry and millions of rands worth of uncollected revenue due to the fiscus.
The contraventions also place a strain on legitimate businesses in South Africa, as they get forced to trade in an unfair and uncompetitive environment.
While SARS believes that the promotion of trade and enhancing economic growth is vital to the future of all South Africans, the rooting up of unscrupulous agents in the sector is equally paramount.
To this end, SARS is working closely with other law enforcement agencies to press both criminal and civil charges against the culprits.
For more information please contact Sechaba Nkosi at (012) 422 5046 or 082 465 2901.
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE