04 November 2019 - NW1074
Ndlozi, Dr MQ to ask the Minister of Finance
(1)Whether any employee of the SA Revenue Service (SARS) was in an in-depth interview with a certain newspaper (name furnished) with regard to its investigation into the illicit tobacco economy between 1 January 2014 and 31 March 2014; if so, on what date was the interview conducted; if not, (2) whether the SARS communication section responded to questions sent to them by the specified newspaper with regard to the illicit tobacco economy; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) how did SARS respond to the questions and (b) on what date were the questions responded to?
1. The current administration has no knowledge that any SARS employee held an in-depth interview with a certain newspaper. SARS employees are prohibited from disclosing any taxpayer information contrary to the provisions of Chapter 6 of the Tax Administration Act, 2011. This is an offence in terms of section 236 of that Act.
2. (a)(b) As at the date of providing this response SARS cannot locate a reply to a media inquiry to a certain newspaper during 1 January 2014 and 31 March 2014. It is however noted that in an article published by a certain newspaper on 20 March 2014 it is reported that “Sars provided amaBhungane with general details of the work it has done to combat non-compliance in the tobacco industry, but did not comment on the specific incidents referred to in this article.”