Jomo Sono caught offside with a steep R40m tax bill

03 March 2019 - 10:06
Jomo Cosmos boss Jomo Sono in hot water with Sars.
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix Jomo Cosmos boss Jomo Sono in hot water with Sars.

The taxman has obtained a judgment at the South Gauteng High Court to attach assets belonging to legendary football icon Jomo Sono and his football club Jomo Cosmos.

The SA Receiver of Revenue (Sars) took Sono to court after he allegedly failed to pay a whopping R40m tax bill demanded of him since last year. 

The judgment was obtained on February 21, after Sono allegedly failed to honour an agreement he entered into with Sars to pay the millions to get his books in order.

According to court papers seen by Sunday World, Sars had previously obtained a writ of execution to attach Sono and his club's assets after he allegedly failed to pay the staggering tax amount.

They also previously obtained civil judgment against him and his National First Division outfit on October 9, 2017, and blacklisted him and the club with TransUnion credit bureau.

The papers show that Sars reversed the punitive measures, apparently after initially entering into an agreement with "The Black Prince".

"With reference to all the previous correspondences and various meetings held during the course of 2018 at our Megawatt Park offices: This office has reached an agreement to suspend collection, based on the following understanding: all outstanding returns/declarations relating to the above entity would be submitted, followed by a complete and accurate application in terms of Section 200 of the TA Act.

To date Sars has assisted by stopping our collection process by terminating the warrant of execution issued, withdrawing the civil judgment issued on 09/10/2017 and assisting with the removal of the civil judgment on 06/04/2018 taken with TransUnion.

"However, according to current records, the above entity remains non-compliant as the following returns reflect outstanding and the Sars has not received the relevant compromise application," reads the papers.

The papers further state that Sono allegedly failed to submit all his pay-as-you-earn returns for 2017 and 2018.

He was also accused of failing to submit VAT returns for certain months of 2018 and also allegedly failed to submit returns for the skills development levy he received from Sector Education and Training Authority.

"In light of the above, the Sars will provide you with seven (7) calendar days in order to rectify the current situation, however should same not be done, the Sars will proceed to initiate our collection process without delay, which includes the immediate re-instatement of the civil judgement previously issued," reads the letter sent to Sono on November 19, last year.

It looks like Sono cocked a snook at the letter sent to him, leaving Sars with no option but to obtain the latest judgment against him.

According to the documents, Sono allegedly owes more than R22m in unpaid VAT, almost R13m in unpaid PAYE/ UIF and skills development levy as well as more than R4m in assessed tax and penalties. Sars also warned penalties would be charged on his outstanding amount if he failed to pay up.

Spokesperson Sandile Memela said: "Sars is bound by Chapter 6 of the Tax Administration Act, 2011, dealing with confidentiality of information, therefore it is not in a position to divulge specific details on the affairs of taxpayers."

Sono said he was shocked that Sars obtained a judgement against him and the team because they reached a settlement agreement on how to pay them in December.

He said Sars could have obtained the judgement after his auditors failed to submit certain returns they wanted when they reached the agreement.

"When you are in business, these are the things you go through my brother. Every businessman goes through that, that's why I'm not even ashamed to admit that yes I owe them and I'm paying." he said.