New FIFA probeBERNE, Switzerland (AP) – The corruption scandal sweeping world football engulfed Germany as FIFA said yesterday that it would investigate “very serious allegations” that voters were bribed to win the 2006 World Cup bid.The latest claims of wrongdoing linked to football’s governing body broke as suspended president Sepp Blatter went public with his fight to get his FIFA ethics case thrown out.Blatter may have deepened the prospect of a long ban by admitting there was only a “gentleman’s agreement” for the 2011 payment he authorised to UEFA president Michel Platini and which led to them both being suspended by FIFA last week after it emerged through a criminal investigation.The investigation will now include looking into a report in news magazine Der Spiegel that Germany’s 2006 World Cup bid committee established a slush fund of 10.3 million Swiss francs (then about US$6 million) to bribe four of the 24 voters.Nadal at his bestSHANGHAI (AP)Rafael Nadal is starting to look like his dominant former self, the player who won 14 Grand Slam titles. He’s even beating the top players again.After struggling with his confidence and consistency for much of the season, the Spanish star beat a top-five player for the first time in more than a year with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals of the Shanghai Masters yesterday.It wasn’t just a victory, but a convincing one. It was Nadal’s most lopsided win over Wawrinka in 15 meetings.Top-seeded Novak Djokovic also advanced with his 15th consecutive victory, holding off Australia’s Bernard Tomic in a tight first-set tiebreaker before closing it out 7-6 (6), 6-1.Djokovic will play Andy Murray in today’s semi-final after the third-seeded Briton saw off Tomas Berdych 6-1, 6-3. Nadal will play Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the other semi-final after the French player topped Kevin Anderson of South Africa 7-6 (6), 5-7, 6-4.Venus in Hong Kong semisHONG KONG (AP)Venus Williams closed in on a spot in the season-ending WTA Finals by beating Alize Cornet 6-1, 6-1 yesterday to reach the Hong Kong Open semi-finals.The third-seeded American, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, won the Wuhan Open this month.Williams will next meet Jelena Jankovic, who beat Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 6-1.Angelique Kerber and Samantha Stosur also advanced, and will face each other in the semi-finals. Stosur beat Heather Watson 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 while Kerber defeated Caroline Garcia 7-5, 6-3.
4 September 2012 Additional help for taxpayers using eFiling has gone live, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) announced on Monday. Electronic Filing users who require assistance while completing their tax returns online can use the Help-You-eFile service, a new facility which allows them to be in direct contact with a Sars call centre agent while they complete their return online. With permission from the taxpayer, the service enables a call centre agent to access the taxpayer’s eFiling browsing session at the same time as the taxpayer and to see exactly what the taxpayer is seeing. When clicking on the Help-You-eFile icon on their eFiling profile, the taxpayer will be prompted to accept the Terms and Conditions. They will then receive a session reference number, which will need to be quoted when phoning the call centre on 0800 00 7277.Benefits without the hassle of visiting a branch The agent will then launch the Help-You-eFile session and the taxpayer will receive a request asking whether the agent may connect to the session. By sharing the same information on two different computer screens, the taxpayer is allowing the Sars agent to shadow them as they complete the return and even highlight areas on their screen for additional clarity. The taxpayer benefits by being able to call on the support and advice of Sars staff without having to visit a branch. “This is the first time any revenue service around the world has instituted such a system and Sars is proud to be at the forefront of such technological advancements,” Sars said in a statement. Sensitive information such as the taxpayer’s banking details, password and login are not visible to the Sars contact centre agents – but all other information is visible. The agent also has view-only access and cannot enter any information on the return but can direct the taxpayer on where to enter information by highlighting fields on the return. A new tutorial video on how to use Help-You-eFile is also available on the Sars YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/sarstax.Record number of returns To date Sars has received 2.3-million tax returns since the 2012 tax season opened at the beginning of July, exceeding Sars’ expectations. At the same time last year 1.5-million tax returns had been submitted. Currently the average rate of submission per day since 1 July is over 40 300. “The unintended consequence has been that queues at branches have been much longer than during previous years. Across the country, Sars branch staff on average assist more than 20 000 taxpayers per day.” Statistics indicate that branches are seeing 55% more taxpayers than the same period last year. Sars said it hopes that the new facility to help taxpayers with eFiling will alleviate some of these pressures on branch offices, while also thanking South Africans who have filed their returns early. The deadline for taxpayers who submit their tax returns manually by post or by dropping it off in a Sars drop box, is 28 September 2012 while the deadline for all taxpayers who submit their returns electronically at a Sars branch is 23 November 2012. Non-provisional taxpayers who submit their returns via eFiling also have until 23 November 2012. Provisional taxpayers who submit their returns via eFiling have until 31 January 2013. Source: SANews.gov.za
APTN National NewsAPTN Investigates reporter Kathleen Martens talks to anchor Dana Foster about the court order that’s holding up more than 50 IAP cases.