The Western Cape High Court on Tuesday dismissed an application by businessman Mark Lifman to prevent South African Revenue Services (Sars) from seizing his assets to pay his outstanding R300 million tax debt.
The legal battle between Lifman and Sars has been ongoing for several years after the taxman slapped him with the hefty tax bill.
News24 investigative journalist Kyle Cowan says the court stated that Lifman's legal team was unable to present any evidence showing that Sars had not acted within its mandate.
Lifman's lawyers plan to lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court but Cowan says it is hard to believe that the court will find a different outcome after four years of litigation.
This is not the first time Lifman has challenged Sars. He challenged them in 2015 and this particular case was lodged in 2016, so it has been an ongoing battle since Sars told him that we have done our investigation and you owe us R350m.— Kyle Cowan, Investigative journalist - News24
The court also found that when Sars said to him that you owe us, he never disputed it or lodged a complaint with the ombudsman but decided to litigate and at number 99 he would withdraw and refile it again. That is why the court just labelled this an abuse of power.— Kyle Cowan, Investigative journalist - News24
According to Cowan, the money owed by Lifman to Sars includes penalties for failing to file his tax returns and failing to pay his taxes.
Lifman argued that none of his businesses is worth that amount but the total kept on increasing because of added penalties.
The bottom line is that if you owe the taxman money, even if your business is slightly doggy, pay the taxman.— Kyle Cowan, Investigative journalist - News24
The taxman is going to get his cut whether you run a small business or a large corporate.— Kyle Cowan, Investigative journalist - News24
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