Sars Service Charter to be implemented before year-end

Long overdue document to set out obligations and timelines for key business processes.

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Revenue Service (Sars) will shortly be engaging with the tax industry to discuss a Draft Service Charter for implementation before the end of this financial year.

Speaking at the 2016 Tax Indaba, Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane (pictured), said the charter would set out the revenue authority’s obligations and timelines for key businesses processes.

The long-awaited publication of the charter – an important tool for service measurement – has been a bone of contention within the tax industry.

The Tax Ombud, Judge Bernard Ngoepe, previously indicated that his office was pestering Sars about the publication of the charter. Given the modernisation of Sars’ processes the previous Service Charter was no longer valid, but the absence of a new document has complicated the life of tax practitioners as they didn’t know what timelines and obligations Sars needed to adhere to in certain instances.

Moyane said he was aware that many tax practitioners have daily interactions with Sars and would have different experiences with the service levels that it was providing.

“What I want to assure you under our stewardship and my leadership is that Sars is committed to improving its service offerings to all citizens including the tax practitioners.”

Moyane said Sars has also rolled out its new tax compliance system, which was adding value to the lives of tax practitioners and taxpayers.

Judge Dennis Davis, head of the tax committee tasked with a comprehensive review of South African’s tax system, said the committee would like to engage with the Tax Ombud and Sars in relation to the possibility of developing a more comprehensive Taxpayer Bill of Rights and what redress taxpayers should have when they feel that Sars has overreached.

Davis said while this was not intended as an aspersion on Sars, he did receive a lot of complaints from people as the head of the tax committee.

“I do think that we need to think this through – the Americans have a very, very sophisticated system, which basically assists taxpayers and we need to think through whether that is possible both from a resource and from a conceptual point of view.”

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Oh pleeeze-spare us. The only service SARS give these days is to bully taxpayers and make life as difficult as possible. Have you ever tried to lodge an objection online Mr M?? SARS has been transformed into bureaucratic online bullies.

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