04/06/2017 09:51 SAST | Updated 04/06/2017 12:44 SAST

Sars Employees Left Reeling After A Dodgy Tax Payout Was Made To Gupta's Oakbay Investments

A report in City Press says staff were left furious.

Tax boss Tom Moyane intervened in securing the payment to Oakbay Investments.
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Tax boss Tom Moyane intervened in securing the payment to Oakbay Investments.

It has emerged that the South African Revenue Service (Sars) paid the controversial Gupta family a VAT (Value Added Tax) refund of more R70-million this week, causing a fallout among employees.

The City Press reported on Sunday that the manner in which the payment was supposed made to Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments, caused a bit of drama between SARS employees and boss Tom Moyane had to intervene.

The family allegedly wanted the money to be paid into an overseas bank account or into the trust account of a lawyer.

After several attempts from Oakbay to have the tax refund paid out, with advice from legal counsels, both within and outside SARS, they were repeatedly told it could not be done in the manner they were requesting.

"Sars officials refused because this would be contrary to the law and Sars procedure. Sars got an in-house legal opinion that confirmed it could not be done," an insider told the paper.

That was until Moyane intervened and secured the payment, which was paid "begrudgingly" and reportedly left employees disgruntled and angry.

According to City Press, VAT refunds are paid into a taxpayer's account, and not into the account of any proxy and it was still unclear which bank account the family is currently using to trade and pay employees from.

The family and their 14 companies, were stripped of their banking privileges and their JSE sponsorships by the four major banks in South Africa and Sasfin, following the family's implication in "state capture" reports.

This led to a courtroom showdown with former finance minister Pravin Gordhan, who the family had asked to intervene in stopping the banks from closing their account.

Gordhan brought a case to the Pretoria High Court, asking the courts to set out the limits of his power in relation to the power of banks to close bank accounts. Judgement was reserved in March.