Send in a VAT return just one day late and you are immediately penalised 10%, but Sars has been withholding VAT returns owed to taxpayers for, in some cases, years now.

The practice is particularly pernicious in the prevailing business environment in which many companies have seen cash flow dry up due to Covid-19 restrictions, and even face insolvency. The high court has now provided much needed certainty as to how Sars should behave in a vague, very technical area of law.

Michael Avery speaks to prof Thabo Legwaila, the new CEO of the Office of the Tax Ombud; Ernie Lai King, head of 1 Road Consulting, who successfully acted for the taxpayer in the urgent application in the high court and Sars’ subsequent application to appeal; and Keith Engel, CEO of the SA Institute of Tax Practitioners.

Michael Avery talks to a panel about Sars and why they are withholding some taxpayers' VAT returns

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