At first, SARS indicated no intention to oppose the application and eventually consented to an order setting aside the finding of non-payment and instructing the penalties and interest to be remitted. SARS also consented to costs on an attorney-client scale and costs of senior counsel.
However, the matter came to be heard in court. SARS was represented by counsel who sought only to oppose a limited issue: whether the applicant should be entitled to interest in respect of the amounts that it had paid under protest and which were now to be remitted.
Based on the Shuttlewo the defendant by mistake what it is not bound to pay either in fact or in law, it may recover the amount), together with interest.
The court also cited Sections 187, 188 and 190 of the Tax Administration Act (28/2011), which provide for interest to be incurred on refundable amounts.
Accordingly, the court granted an order to the effect that SARS must pay interest tempore morae (ie, from the date on which the obligation became due) on the amounts paid by the applicant under protest.