A business woman went from living comfortably in her Hartbeespoort home to taking handouts from family members after being convicted of tax evasion.
Bianca Ruth Turner, a 33-year-old woman, was the director of BKJ Consultants CC but did not file tax returns for three years.
By 2011, the company owed over R39 000 to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and was therefore charged with 17 counts of tax evasion.
She was sentenced in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court this morning to a fine of R10 000 or 12 months in jail, both suspended for five years.
For the remaining 13 counts she was charged R12 000 or 18 months in jail, also suspended for five years.
The court heard that Turner and her husband Jason Brian Turner were married in community of property and all their assets were sold in order to pay their creditors.
Turner’s attorney asked that the Magistrate Sadiki, would consider Taylor’s current personal situation when deciding the sentencing.
Turner is a mother of three school-aged children.
The Turners were forced to move to Gonubie in East London where they could live with family who could help support them.
There, Turner was able to get a job that paid R8 500 a month after taxes. Turner’s husband is still unemployed.
The expenditures of the Turner family amounted to R20 000 and the surplus was being maintained by family and friends in East London and the United Kingdom.
The attorney explained that these circumstances indicated that Taylor would not be able to pay off their fine.
Sadiki took this into consideration but still gave his sentence as these were “serious charges.
Sadiki said as a director of a company one has certain responsibilities, “responsibilities which go beyond the day-to-day running of the company.”
“If you are entitled you will receive. There is no reason to evade taxes,” Sadiki said.
Sadiki said it was important for companies to pay their taxes as these are “crucial” for government.
“There is no way people in South Africa can do without paying their taxes,” Sadiki added.
Turner appeared in court wearing a stylish black trench coat, pearl earrings with freshly highlighted hair.