- SARS has decided to launch an investigation into possible tax fraud being committed by prophets and their churches.
- SARS said while most religious organisation operated within the law, it believes that some are enriching themselves by dodging tax
- The investigation will focus on controversial figures such as Pastor Mboro and Shepherd Bushiri
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has announced plans to investigate possible tax evasion and fraud by religious groups, pastors and their multi-million rand churches.
The revenue service said while it believed that most religious organisations operated within the law, it believed that some organisations and their leaders were enriching themselves by dodging tax laws.
SARS said its own preliminary investigations coupled with reports from the Commission for Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) has confirmed that there was massive non-compliance from the religious sector.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the investigation will focus on figures such as Paseka Motsoeneng better known as Pastor Mboro and Malawian Shepherd Bushiri and their multi-million rand churches.
SARS will have to determine whether these and other figures in the religious sector have paid personal income tax for income derived from their churches, benefit tax on lavish gifts which they often receive and capital gains from investments.
This appears to be the first attempt by SARS to restore its shattered image among South Africans.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that he would appoint a commission of inquiry into tax administration and governance at SARS, Ramaphosa hoped to rebuild trust between the government and South African taxpayer by cleaning out the revenue service.
Ramaphosa said there had to be a clearly defined contract between the government and those paying taxes and that contract needed to absolutely 100% free of corruption.
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