South African courts have adopted a no-nonsense approach to dealing with people who try to commit tax fraud.
Which means you may need to watch out, especially if you take a rather relaxed view when it comes to your tax returns.
Only a few days after a Belville father and son crime duo was jailed for tax fraud, the court has convicted John Bantam, 44, and sentenced him to five years direct imprisonment for 121 counts of fraud.
Bantam was a tax practitioner employed by Barishman Cloete and Associates Incorporated and during the same period, unbeknown to his employer, he completed income tax returns on behalf of 28 taxpayers and claimed fraudulent refunds.
Last week Thomas Fortuin, 66, from Ridgeworth in Bellville, was sentenced to six years’ direct imprisonment on 236 charges of fraud and forgery relating to the tax affairs of close corporations belonging to members of his family.
Fortuin’s son, Tom-Ross Fortuin, 35, and the bookkeeper who assisted the family in committing the crimes, Ivor Carlo Carolissen, 38 entered into a plea bargain with the State and were both sentenced to four years’ imprisonment suspended for five years.
This week the Cape Town Regional Court heard how Bantam exploited the SARS e-filing system. He registered taxpayers and then claimed losses, medical expenses and deductions in respect of retirement annuity funds contributions.
One of his tricks was to inflate medical expenses for over the counter medication, and it gets even sleazier:
State prosecutor from the Specialised Tax Unit, advocate Lunga Ntshokoma, said when the SA Revenue Service (Sars) asked for supporting documentation, Bantam generated fictitious statements.
“For each refund the accused was paid a percentage. Some of the money was paid in his wife’s bank account and some paid cash.
“As a result of his actions, Sars paid out R 690 455.75 to the 28 taxpayers and he received R41 517.79,” Ntshokoma said.
You can just imagine the administrative and legal nightmare those 28 taxpayers have had to suffer through at the hands of this idiot, while he was being investigated.
This is just one example of why it’s generally a good idea to get your taxes done by a professional company known for hard work, professionalism, and efficiency.
Galbraith | Rushby offer professional tax compliance and advisory services to individuals and businesses.
If, like me, you have no idea what half the stuff on a tax form means, you can avoid accidentally acquiring a criminal record, by leaving it to the professionals.
In terms of their offering to businesses, Galbraith | Rushby render the level of service you would expect from a big audit firm but at the price of a small firm, while assisting you with all of your tax advisory and compliance needs.
That way, you’ll never end up with a sneaky Bantam in your ranks.
[imagesource: Shutterstock] We've heard the words 'COVID fatigue' thrown around a great...
[imagesource: Getty] Oenophile /ˈiːnə(ʊ)fʌɪl/ - noun A connoisseur of wines. ...
[imagesource: Pam Golding Properties] Look, but don't touch. That's basically what C...
Each Monday, I’ll be putting together a wrap of the weekend’s sporting action, standou...
[imagesource: YouTube / Larry Madowo] Apologies to anybody who knows this woman. Not...