Taxman closes in on Trillian

A month after being ordered by the court to pay almost R600-million back to Eskom, Gupta-linked Company Trillian Capital Partners has been slapped with a R1-million lawsuit by SARS over non-payment of taxes.

The company, which was until late last year led by senior ANC politician and former minister of human settlements Tokyo Sexwale as board chairman, was dragged to the Joburg high court by the revenue collector last Wednesday after it failed to settle its debt across all tax groups.

Sunday World can reveal that the consultancy was issued with a tax bill of about R1-million as it was found to be owing at least R700 000 for Paye (Pay As You Earn), R32 000 in Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) contributions, and R200 000 in skills development levies.

The company, according to court papers filed by SARS, also owed R68 000 in unpaid value added tax.

According to papers filed by Nombulelo Shabalala from SARS’s debt management unit at the Alberton branch, the company, which allegedly beneffited from at least R1.5-billion worth of contracts from state-owned entities,has been in arrears for more than a year.

The revenue collector also argued that Trillian, which is now solely owned by Eric Wood, a well-known associate of the Guptas and a person of interest of the state capture inquiry, has ignored several letters of demand sent to it by SARS.

In one of the letters annexed to the court papers dated September 6 2019, SARS informed Trillian owners that they owed an amount of R914 106.

“You are requested to make full payment within 10 business days from the date of this letter of demand. You may within 10 business working days from the
date of this letter of demand apply for any of the following:

• payments in instalments where you are unable to pay the full amount;
• suspension of the debt where you intend to submit or have submitted a formal dispute; or
• compromise a portion of the tax where this will provide a higher return to the fiscus than liquidation, sequestration or other
collection measures,” reads the letter.

In the same letter, SARS also warned Trillian that its failure to make payment or use any of the remedies it provided to it, SARS may approach any party that owes the company money and use it to settle its debt.

SARS also said it would obtain civil judgment against Trillian, which will see the company’s assets attached and sold by the sheriff of the court.

When approached for comment, SARS said: “As you are aware, SARS is a creature of statute. As result, SARS is not in a position to divulge specific information and details on the affairs of taxpayers.”

By Aubrey Mothombeni

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