DA request Tax Ombud to probe whether SARS dragging feet on tax payable by Zuma

10 April 2017 - 22:41
By TMG Digital
SARS Pretoria office. File Photo.
Image: Gallo Images/Foto24/Cornel van Heerden SARS Pretoria office. File Photo.

The Democratic Alliance is to write to the Tax Ombud‚ Judge Bernard Ngoepe‚ to request that he investigate whether SARS have dragged their feet with regards to raising the tax‚ penalties and interest payable by President Zuma on Nkandla.

Reports this weekend revealed that the South African Revenue Service (SARS) had begun an investigation into whether President Zuma owed fringe benefits tax on improvements to his Nkandla homestead as far back as 2014.

“While President Zuma was forced to pay a measly R7.8 million towards the full cost of turning his Nkandla home into the palace that it is‚ the Income Tax Act defined fringe benefit tax plus penalties and interest that President Zuma is liable to pay is estimated at R63.9 million‚” DA deputy spokesman on finance Alf Lees said on Monday.

Lees said that in response to his written question‚ Zuma had evaded a direct response on whether he had declared fringe benefits tax on Nkandla by hiding behind the confidentiality of taxpayer tax matters.

“Whilst the DA fully supports the principle of the confidentiality of tax matters‚ this confidentiality must not be abused by [SARS commissioner] Tom Moyane to hide SARS failure to apply the Income Tax Act in relation to his long-standing and close friend‚ President Zuma.

“By doing so‚ Tom Moyane could be complicit in tax evasion which is a criminal offence‚” Lees stated..

He added: “We believe that the 2014 SARS investigation into fringe benefits on Nkandla accrued to President Zuma has not been professionally dealt with and after three years has made no progress. The DA will continue to ensure that the President is held to account for unduly benefiting from the exorbitant upgrades to his private residence in Nkandla.”