SRA to seize stock from 21 Dubai' dealers
MBABANE - The Swazi-land Revenue Authority (SRA) will be undertaking an exercise whereby it will be seizing stock from 21 imported car dealerships in the country.
This was gathered during an interview with the SRA Commissioner General, Dumisani Masilela.
He said this measure comes after the dealerships failed to honour a 12-month extension allowing them to pay in full to SRA their tax compliant balances.
Masilela said his institution found itself forced to undertake this exercise after the dealerships failed to take advantage of the extension.
The extension arrangement was signed between the dealerships and SRA in May 2011 and expired in April/May 2012. Masilela further revealed that only three of the 24 dealerships managed to honour the extension arrangement.
"Only three of the 24 dealerships managed to clear their debts, but the rest could not meet their obligations as agreed.
"The customs law allows certain measures to be taken to recover government revenue and the law will be allowed to take its course even on this matter," said Masilela.
Clarifying on the extension, he said Section 104 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1971 states that the commissioner general may, in his discretion and subject to such conditions (including the payment of interest at reasonable rates on the amount due) as he may consider necessary, permit any duty payable under the Act or any penalty imposed by him to be paid by instalments of such amounts and at such times as he may determine.
"Following an audit of the customs transactions of second-hand motor vehicle importers, it was established that certain motor vehicles had been undervalued resulting in under-collection of revenue. The dealers acknowledged their liabilities and entered into an arrangement with SRA whereby they were to clear their liabilities within a period of 12 months," said Masilela.
He further explained that the arrangement was just a means by SRA to help the dealerships be tax compliant. "All our operations are regulated by acceptable legal guidelines. We have given this situation enough caution and the necessary patience the tax laws permits.
"However, the time has now come to spring into action with regard to those who are still failing to comply with the country’s tax laws," said Masilela.
He clarified that a special task team specially trained to properly value used vehicles, was created in 2011. He said as part of the team’s work, it was to ensure that proper documentation is produced and all declarations are carefully verified to prevent the recurrence of false declaration.
"Although the number of vehicles imported from Asia in 2011 dropped by about 40% compared to the volumes in prior years, the revenue collected on the fewer vehicles doubled compared to the same period in previous years," said Masilela.
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