An employee of the United States embassy was sentenced to three years imprisonment, suspended for five years, for income tax evasion by the Pretoria regional court today.
Esther Colleen Smith, who works for USAID in Pretoria, pleaded guilty to six counts of contravening the Income Tax Act by failing to declare her full taxable income between 1997 and 2002.
In terms of the diplomatic relations between the United States and South Africa, no IRP5 certificates are issued to the embassy's locally recruited employees. SARS therefore relies on the honesty of each individual employee to declare the correct taxable income.
Smith (51) was arrested in August last year and subsequently suspended by the embassy.
The loss to SARS as a result of Smith's non-disclosure amounted to R64 483 for the six tax years involved.
In terms of the sentence Smith has to repay SARS the full outstanding amount and not be convicted of a similar offence in future.
For more information please contact sARS spokesperson Sechaba Nkosi on 082 465 2901.
ISSUED BY THE COMMISSIONER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE