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Sars to have new commissioner soon

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni says Sars IT systems will also be beefed up and Sars’ new large business unit will be launched in April.

Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - South Africa will have a new South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner within weeks and the tax collection agency is being strengthened by new units to combat illicit trade and tax evasion.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni says that Sars' IT systems will also be beefed up.

The tax revenue shortfall is expected to come in at R42.8 billion this year, a worsening of 15.4 billion on October estimates.

This is due partly to the poor economy but also to backlogs in VAT refunds that built up under the tenure of former commissioner Tom Moyane.

Mboweni says Sars’ new large business unit will be launched in April.

“The large business unit was a major source of tax collection and its skill was renowned.”

A new illicit economy unit was launched in August to combat the illegal trade in cigarettes and tobacco, which is costing the fiscus billions in lost revenue.

“Those who produce cigarettes and sell them in underground markets will be dealt with severely.”

Similar units were scrapped by former commissioner Moyane during his reign.

Briefing ahead of his speech, Mboweni referred to a “courtesy visit” Sars made this week when assets of alleged tobacco smuggler Adriano Mazzotti were seized in relation to unpaid taxes. Mboweni warned that similar visits would come.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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