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Mohammed Yacoob landed up in court for filling in his Vat returns wrong

by , 01 August 2013
Pietermaritzburg security boss Mohommed Yacoob appeared in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court in July for allegedly defrauding SARS of R12.5 million for Vat. If you fill in your Vat return wrong, you could spark a Vat audit and face similar charges. What did Mohommed Yacoob do, and how can you avoid doing the same? Let's have a look...

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What did this Vat vendor do – and how you avoid it to stay on SARS' good side?

Between September 2006 and February 2010, Mohommed Yacoob told SARS that his two companies, Khuselani Security and Risk Management SA and Khuselani Security and Risk Management, were independent so he could avoid paying Vat. But they weren't. They were the same company, and SARS alleged he said they were separate avoid Vat. He also allegedly supplied incorrect information in his Vat returns for the same period.

SARS claimed it had lost R12 589 154 because his incoming Vat was overstated and his  outgoing Vat was understated. How do you avoid SARS' bad side?

Let's have a look.

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A small administrative mistake is all it takes for SARS to have the right to withhold your refund.

Put a simple zero in the wrong place on the new VAT return could and you can forget about getting even a cent of your money back.

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How you can avoid a Vat audit that could lead to a court appearance

Vat is a self-assessment tax. If you supply the wrong information on your Vat return (Vat 201 form), SARS is able to spot it. SARS alleges that Mohommed Yacoob tried to hide Vat that was payable to it. And that he tried to claim more than was due to him.

With e Filing, SARS can quickly scan through batches of returns and spot if your Vat return sticks out. If you fill in incorrect input or output tax like Mohommed did, this is a red flag for SARS, and it will perform an audit if it has queries about your returns. If Mohommed had a copy of the Practical Vat Loose Leaf, he could look out for the next update where we talk about Vat audits, and explain exactly how SARS selects Vat vendors for audits.

Until next time,

Philip Rosenberg
Managing Editor , Practical Vat Loose Leaf

PS. Want answers to your audit or Vat return questions. Go to the Accounting and Tax Club now. It's free – and a question's answered every nine minutes!

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