Editor’s Note: See also Five things you need to know about illicit tobacco trade in South Africa, Illicit cigarettes flourished when South African Revenue Services stopped inspecting tobacco factories, and South African Union, farmers take illicit cigarettes trade fight to Treasury.
From: George Herald
Identified as the biggest manufacturer of illicit cigarettes, Gold Leaf Tobacco’s head office is less than 20km from Sars’ front door.
Journalist Adriaan Kruger, Moneyweb
BUSINESS NEWS – During the past few weeks, several newspapers have been running advertisements under the banner #takebackthetax, with slogans such as “Petrol will be cheaper if we take back our R7 billion” and “VAT doesn’t have to increase if we take back our R7 billion”. Another alludes to the fact that the distressed school system could employ thousands of more teachers.
The R7 billion refers to tax avoidance – every year – by the manufacturers and distributors of illicit and illegal tobacco products in SA, says the Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa (Tisa), which has embarked on a campaign to highlight the problems facing legal and tax-compliant cigarette manufacturers in SA.