Sars vows to probe allegations of wrongdoing 'without fear or favour'
The South African Revenue Service (Sars), currently hunting for a new boss with an unblemished career, says it will investigate all allegations of tax evasion at the various commissions of inquiry that are under way.
"Sars is concerned that names of some former employees have been mentioned in alleged wrongdoing and would like to assure the South African taxpayers and public that these will be investigated without fear or favour and guilty persons will be brought to book," the state's tax collection entity said in a statement on Thursday.
"Sars wishes to further assure the taxpayers and public that in instances where tax rules and laws have been violated or undermined, strict measures will be applied to uphold the rule of law."
The newly-reconstituted Illicit Economy Unit at Sars would monitor developments closely.
In addition, the unit was "taking the necessary steps where appropriate to ensure compliance with tax laws", said Sars.
Business Day reported in January that Sars had stated SA was “losing a large portion of its GDP every year to the illicit economy. This has mainly been in the form of smuggling tobacco products, counterfeit textiles, drug manufacturing and smuggling, illicit mining of gold and diamonds, ivory smuggling and the poaching of endangered species like abalone and rhino.”
On Thursday, the agency reminded tax dodgers that its Voluntary Disclosure Programme was still fully operational and that they should come forward to make use of the facility, where appropriate.