Malema makes his promises

2014-05-28 00:00

I CAN confirm that I was informed by SARS today [yesterday] that it has accepted an offer of compromise I submitted in respect of my outstanding tax.

This followed my making such an offer to SARS, as provided for in the Tax Administration Act.

I was informed that a governance committee considered my submission and found it to have complied with the requirements for such an offer.

I can further confirm that the offer was conditional on a number of aspects, including that I accept that I failed in my past tax obligations that resulted in me owing the fiscus outstanding tax. I failed to declare certain income in the past and consequently failed to pay certain amounts of tax during the required periods.

It was also a requirement that my tax affairs be brought up to date at the time of the offer, which I have done.

The offer to compromise took into account the existing outstanding tax of R18 million.

I accept that additional assessments for tax years 2011 and 2012 will follow and will include further amounts which will include capital, added understatement penalties and interest, and which will be dealt with in the normal course of my tax affairs going forward.

I have committed to ensure that my tax affairs will be in order going forward. The offer made by me included an additional amount to be paid by me over and above the amount that was collected by the curator bonis for SARS in selling off my assets to date.

I accept that in terms of the Tax Administration Act, SARS will not be bound to the compromise in the event that I fail to disclose a material fact to which it relates, or in the event that I have supplied materially incorrect information, or if I fail to comply with provisions or conditions contained in the agreement.

I have made a full and verifiable disclosure to SARS in respect of my current assets and liabilities.

I accept that I did not attend to my tax affairs in the manner that I was required to by law in the past and, in certain instances, I left my financial affairs in the hands of others without making sure that my obligations were complied with.

When my difficulty with SARS became public knowledge, I accepted and acted on advice from people, which in hindsight, I should not have.

It is so that at times I was very frustrated with the process and I may have said things publicly that reflected negatively on the reputation of SARS and some of its officials.

Where I may have made public utterances that may have suggested bias or wrongdoing on the side of SARS, I unreservedly apologise.

I accept the bona fides of SARS and its officials who have dealt with the matter.

I have come to realise that the tax system of a country is a key pillar to economic growth and stability.

I recognise that SARS as a revenue and customs agency plays a vital role in the building of our young democracy.

Paying your tax is probably the most direct means by which those who are economically able, are afforded the opportunity to contribute towards those less fortunate in our society, through the funding of social grants and government development programmes.

I believe it is even more important that public and elected officials take the lead when it comes to complying with their tax obligations because ultimately, their own income is derived from the tax base directly.

My advice is that all taxpayers in South Africa should take a keen interest in their own tax affairs and not leave matters unattended until it becomes a problem. It is too easy an excuse to leave your tax affairs in the hands of advisers and forget about them.

Ultimately, there is no excuse for not paying your tax and it only leads to higher penalties and interest over time.

I hope my experience with SARS will be a good example to others that it is not in the interests of our country to disregard one’s tax obligations.

We must all contribute our required bit towards building a better future for all.

I would urge others who find themselves in a similar predicament as I did to rather work with SARS and resolve their disputes in an amicable manner.

I hope now to put the matter behind me and focus on the future.

I consider the matter to have been finalised and have nothing further to discuss publicly on the matter.


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