Joburg Businessman Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Scamming SARS out of Millions
The police have jailed a businessman from Johannesburg after he was found guilty of submitting fraudulent VAT returns to SARS. The owner of Mark Two Electronics, Harisu Bukari, received a sentence of 12 years in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court. Bukari faces convictions on multiple counts of fraud, forgery and uttering, as reported by IOL.
Bukari and his company face charges with 19 counts of fraud, two of uttering and forgery. He claimed undue VAT refunds worth over R2.7 million during the tax periods from January 2012 to September 2015.
A business entity must register for VAT with SARS under certain conditions. Once registered, the entity becomes a VAT Vendor and must levy VAT on the supply of goods and services. This VAT is known as Output Tax. The VAT Vendor can also claim VAT on various expenses incurred, be it capital or operational costs, provided it is for the furtherance of the business as permissible by the VAT Act.
The NPA welcomed the sentence and hopes it will discourage citizens from avoiding tax liability through criminal conduct.
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