VAT Refunds — Battle Won, War Continues

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 where many companies have seen cashflow dry up due to Covid 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 Professor Thabo Legwaila, the new Chief Executive Officer of the Office of the Tax Ombud (OTO); Ernie Lai King, head of 1Road Consulting who successfully acted for the Taxpayer in the Urgent Application in the High Court and SARS' subsequent application to appeal; and Keith Engel, Chief Executive of the South African Institute of Tax Practitioners