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Tax Ombud office is officially launched

09 April 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Prof Sharon Smulders
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Author: Prof Sharon Smulders 

SAIT was invited to attend the official launch of the Tax Ombud’s office – 6 months after the name of the Tax Ombud was announced. Speaking at the launch were Minister Pravin Gordhan, Judge Bernade Ngoepe (The Tax Ombud), Advocate Erich Mkhawane (The CEO of the Ombud’s office) and Ivan Pillay (SARS Acting Commissioner). The event was attended by various Judges, SARS Exco Members and various other tax institute representatives. 

The Minister of Finance provided a brief background of the achievements of SARS since 1994 and the difficult and competitive economic environment in which it was operating. He highlighted the importance of the Tax Policy Framework and also the relationship between SARS’ mandate to service taxpayers and to protect their rights. He stated that the Tax Administration Act (TAA) was introduced to ensure that the key principles of fairness and consistency were applied and maintained. He stipulated that a new spirit of innovation and dynamism is needed to ensure cohesion to mobilise our fiscal growth. 

The Tax Ombud, briefly discussed his Office’s mandate, service level agreements and Charter that would ultimately hold SARS accountable for its actions. He stressed his office’s independence from SARS and emphasised their motto "Fairness at all times” as being the key to their operations. He mentioned the quarterly reports that they need to submit to SARS to document their open and accountable service.

Ivan Pillay, acting SARS Commissioner, stated that the report received from the Ombud’s office so far indicated that the Office had dealt with approximately 700 enquiries, but only 170 of these were actual complaints lodged. Seventy per cent of these were already resolved and the remaining 30% were still within the proposed turnaround time. Mr Pillay stated that this information and the liaison with the Tax Ombud’s Office assisted SARS to review its own complaints management system and charter and he has agreed to meet with the Judge every second week to discuss the pertinent issues and the common trends arising. He said that this office will definitely "keep us on our toes which will be good for taxpayers, SARS and the country as a whole”. 

It was interesting to hear from the Deputy Public Protector, Kevin Malunga, that his office had received 61 cases dealing with SARS that they will be handing over to the Ombud’s Office for discussion. 

Should you wish to find out more about the Tax Ombud’s Office’s mandate, mission and vision you can go to their website Should you wish to contact the Ombud’s office, you can:

  • Phone: 0800 662 837 or (+27) 12 431-9105
  • Fax: (+ 27) 12- 452-5013
  • Email: 

You could also visit the office for an interview or a consultation, if you prefer. It is better to write first and ask for an interview in the letter. Their address is as follows:

  • Physical address: IParioli building, Block A3, Ground Floor; 1166 Park Street (Between Jan Shoba/old Duncan & Grosvenor Streets), Hatfield, Pretoria, 0157 

Click here to access the Tax Ombud brochure. 

Click here to access the Complaints form.


Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.


The Act requires that a minimum academic and practical requirments be set to register with a controlling body. Click here for the minimum requirements of SAIT.

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