Tax Ombud Bernard Ngoepe’s term extended by three more years

From October 1, 2016.

JOHANNESBURG – Tax Ombud Bernard Ngoepe’s term has been extended by three more years, starting on October 1, National Treasury announced on Tuesday.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan appointed Ngoepe as the first Tax Ombud during his previous tenure in the position.

“The Tax Ombud plays a critical role in South Africa’s tax system and, in particular, in ensuring fairness and procedural correctness. Judge Ngoepe has led the office with great distinction and integrity over the past three years. His impartiality and effectiveness has inspired confidence and trust in our tax system,” National Treasury said in a statement.

The office of the Tax Ombud was set up in terms of the Tax Administration Act to provide taxpayers with the opportunity to resolve their concerns about service, procedural and administrative matters speedily, amicably and free of charge. The office does not deal with complaints where a tax liability is disputed or considered unreasonable.

Ettiene Retief, chairperson of the National Tax Committee of the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (Saipa), says the extension was expected.

He says three years is not a lot of time to set up the necessary infrastructure for such an office and to start getting momentum.

The office has now gained momentum, has shown great results and is pushing for additional powers in order to fulfil its mandate even better, he adds.

“I think it is very important that this extension was given.”

With the office established, the next three years will be an important period to get the right balance of taxpayer rights and for taxpayers to ensure they are treated fairly from an administrative point of view. The Ombud has become an invaluable resource for escalations of this nature, he says.

While there have been some concerns about the independence of the office, the recently published Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill contains a number of proposals that aim to remedy these shortcomings.

Ngoepe recently highlighted the importance of ethical behaviour on the part of taxpayers as well as government, and warned that South Africans won’t pay their taxes if it is not used properly.

 

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……………………and just what has this position achieved?

This guy was at the Press Ombudsman and achieved…. yes you guessed it …squat!

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