Tax Ombud office is officially launched
09 April 2014
Posted by: Author: Prof Sharon Smulders
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”.
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
www.taxombud.gov.za. Should you wish to contact the Ombud’s office, you can:
- Phone: 0800 662 837 or (+27)
- Fax: (+ 27) 12- 452-5013
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:
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.