The South African Revenue Services (SARS) has taken legal action against a prominent soccer player, Ndumiso Mabena, for failing to pay his income tax for three years.
The taxman filed its court papers last week Thursday demanding that the footballer must foot his tax bill amounting to R575 247.15.
Mabena blames former club owner
Mabena, who currently plays for Polokwane City, said he was not aware of the tax bill and blamed his former club owner, Max Tshabalala, for not paying the taxes on his behalf when he was playing for Bloemfontein Celtic.
He said he received his IRP5s from Celtic, but later learnt that Tshabalala had financial and tax issues.
He also said he did not receive any IRP5 from Royal AM, another club he played for before joining Polokwane City.
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Mabena willing to make arrangements
The soccer star said he was prepared to enter into some sort of arrangement with SARS to pay the bill, as he could not afford to make a full payment.
He said he feared that the tax collector would raid his account and garnishee his salary from his new employers.
He also said he never received any correspondence from SARS, as they were sent to his old address in Bloemfontein, where he left three years ago.
SARS offers options to pay
In its court papers, SARS attached a final letter of demand, which shows that Mabena failed to pay his tax debt for more than one year and tax periods.
The letter states that Mabena was requested to make full payment within 10 business working days from the date of the letter.
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However, SARS also offered Mabena other options to pay the debt, such as settling the debt in installments, if he could not afford to make a full payment.