The SA Revenue Service (Sars) has had a windfall, courtesy of two decisions by the Supreme Court of Appeal. They represent complex legal work by Sars before its "capture", back when key investigation and assessment units were working optimally. They are another reminder of the expertise that the revenue service has lost. One case concerns Amawele Joint Venture CC, whose sole client is the KwaZulu-Natal department of human settlements. The other relates to Volkswagen. After a protracted legal struggle, the court has ruled that Sars will keep VAT that Amawele claimed it had paid in error. It has also upheld an additional assessment by Sars that found Amawele owed it R38m for the 2008-2010 period. In the case of VW, the carmaker must pay tax on additional assessments of about R102m for the years 2008-2010. Amawele, which was involved in provincial housing rehabilitation projects between 2008 and 2010, contested whether it was liable to charge, collect and pay VAT on the amounts it was ...

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