Former national cricketer Garth le Roux and companies under his control never paid a cent of tax on property-sale commissions totalling just over R1,9-million, Cape Town's Wynberg Regional Court heard on Wednesday.
Le Roux and his accountant, Deon van Heerden, have pleaded not guilty to 48 counts of income-tax and VAT fraud. Le Roux alone faces a further charge of contravening exchange-control regulations.
Le Roux's company, Garth le Roux Marketime, which is also listed as an accused, became entitled to the commissions when he acted as agent for the sale of properties at the prestigious Fancourt golf estate outside George.
However, the money was never paid to Marketime. Instead, Fancourt gave equivalent discounts on the purchase of other properties on the estate to two other companies of which Le Roux was a director.
His defence team has argued that the money never actually accrued to Marketime in terms of the Income Tax Act, and that Marketime was therefore never liable to pay tax on it, or alternatively that if this approach was wrong, it was an honest mistake.
However, Hendry said on Wednesday that Marketime would not have been able to give the money away if it did not have it, or an unconditional right to it, in the first place.
She said there was no evidence before the court that the transactions, which involved three separate amounts of commission, were a mistake.
The court also had to have regard to the fact that giving away the benefit to the other companies made no commercial sense, and that Le Roux was at all stages the alter ego of all the entities involved.
None of the three commissions were ever declared as income by any of the companies, nor was VAT paid over. "They vanished for tax purposes," Hendry said.
extracts from M&G article here