Customs modernisation journey and effective tax collection will be a feature of 2014 budget
06 February 2014
Posted by: Author: Deloitte
Steps to further enhance SARS’ ability to
extend its reach to a much wider tax base through effective modernisation of
the customs environment, could be announced by the Minister of Finance during
his Budget speech, says professional services firm Deloitte.
The SARS Customs Modernisation Programme, planned as part of a
seven-year process and officially launched in 2009, has been designed to create
a platform and capacity within various areas of customs and excise.
"Additionally,” says Kayn Woolmer, Senior Manager at Deloitte, "The programme
is intended to introduce reforms that will bring SARS’ policies and practices
into line with international norms.”
"Since the announcement of the modernisation process, a number of
vital changes have been made. Progress has been made with the primary
objectives of simplifying and standardising customs procedures for traders,
making it easier for them to comply with requirements so that goods can be more
efficiently moved internationally, costs reduced and clearance formalities
"The positive spin-off for SARS has been the more effective use of
resources so that the department’s focus could be moved to post-clearance
audits and enforcement activities that enhance tax collection and combat
Some key achievements of the modernisation process have included:
improvements through the growth in electronic interaction between
traders, agents and Customs; and
- Introduction of the eFiling, eAccount
which allows full account management functionality for traders that extends
from accessing customs codes through to payments and account management.
Maintaining the momentum of reforms could therefore see the
Minister making further announcements regarding the customs reform initiative.
This could see the Minister addressing the implications for traders and SARS
that could arise with the promulgation of the Customs Duty and Control Bills
Act during the 2014/2015 financial year.
Further reforms to be introduced through the Customs Modernisation
Programme could include:
focus on the Preferred Trader Programme designed to provide selected traders
with access to SARS relationship managers and enhanced operational benefits;
public access and availability to SARS services through:
- Increased use of mobile devices to improve
accessibility to SARS by taxpayers and traders.
the number of SARS mobile offices in geographically remote areas.
- Bringing informal businesses, including immigrant businesses, into the formal sphere in collaboration with the Department of Home Affairs, municipalities, social security services and the Company Intellectual Property Commission; and
streamlining of internal processes and procedures and simplification of forms
"Further announcements regarding the streamlining and
modernisation of SARS services are to be welcomed when they make compliance
easier and enable taxpayers to concentrate on business. Where modernisation of
a system is effective, both parties are winners,” says Woolmer.