Sars, Moyane deny wrongdoing over claims of R70m VAT refund

The R70-million VAT refund was paid to Terbium financial services in May after the company was hired to handle the Gupta companies’ payment of salaries.

FILE: Suspended South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner Tom Moyane. Picture: GCIS.

PRETORIA – The South African Revenue Services (Sars) and its Commissioner Tom Moyane have denied any wrongdoing following the authorisation of a R70-million VAT refund to a Gupta-linked company through a third party.

The Daily Maverick’s investigative unit Scorpio is on Friday reporting that the refund was paid to Oakbay Resources against the advice of Sars officials and applicable legislation.

The revelation comes days after embattled senior tax official Jonas Makwakwa tendered his resignation after he faced fresh allegation related to tender fraud.

Moyane told Scorpio that he exercised his discretion in terms of the law in order to authorise the payment to Oakbay through a third party because the banks had cut ties with the company.

However, internal Sars correspondence reveals that several officials warned that such payment would be highly irregular and against the law.

Legislation prohibits VAT payments to third parties in order to curb fraud and money laundering.

The R70-million VAT refund was paid to Terbium financial services in May last year after the company was hired to handle the Gupta companies’ payment of salaries.