The taxpayer was criminally charged with contravening section 59(1)(a) of the Value-Added Tax Act 89 of 1991 (VAT Act). The issue concerned which factors should be taken into account in the imposition of a sentence regarding contravention of section 59(1)(a) of Value-Added Tax Act 89 of 1991.
The court held that to impose a non-custodial sentence would in the court view dilute the seriousness of the offences and indeed disregard the impact of the actual loss of R 18 780 334 to the fiscus. A sterner sentence other than a completely non-custodial sentence is called for and this would reflect the seriousness of the crimes committed. In the circumstances the court propose a sentence of 3 years’ imprisonment in terms of s 276(1)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 so that while the mitigating factors have been taken into account the other objectives of sentence are indeed also reflected.
Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.