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R10 million crackdown on booze and bitcoin: SARS

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    Nat Quinn
    Members of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) conducted a raid on an unauthorised warehouse in Vryburg, North-West on 4 May 2023.
    The two authorities confiscated millions of rands worth of illegally manufactured alcohol and bitcoin mining equipment.
    “The warehouse was used to illegally connect the crypto currency mining equipment to the town’s electrical power supply.”
    “It was also used to manufacture 14,617 bottles of duty-free liquor and popular local brands,” SARS said.
    The bitcoin mining equipment is valued at around R10 million while the alcohol is estimated at R3.8 million.
    Edward Kieswetter, the commissioner of SARS praised the ongoing cooperation between SARS and the South African Police Service (SAPS) in apprehending those who are bent on perpetrating criminality.
    He said the raid formed part of SARS’ decision to act more vigilantly against unregistered taxpayers conducting business and to protect legitimate businesses.
    “The abuse of duty-free labels to circumvent payable duties and other criminal undertakings found at this warehouse undermines our economy and will be confronted and met with the full might of the law,” said Kieswetter.
    On top of the financial implications resulting from not paying utilities such as electricity. Eskom has warned that illegal connections can overload the national system and cause powers to trip or fail.
    The taxman has set its sights on ensuring strict compliance and has taken a concerted effort to crackdown on crypto assets.
    Jashwin Baijoo, the head of crypto asset compliance at Tax Consulting SA, said that due to the unreported and unique nature of new financial instruments in South Africa.
    SARS has clarified that crypto asset profits or gains are subject to the normal rules of income and capital gains tax.
    Tax Consulting SA said that it is important for relevant authorities to determine whether profits made from crypto asset transactions, both on the platform and when converted to fiat currency, are considered as capital or revenue can be uncertain.
    SARS is currently tracking crypto assets through wide collection powers granted under the Income Tax Act, including a requirement for third-party service


    source:R10 million crackdown on booze and bitcoin: SARS (businesstech.co.za)

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