The silent tax war
03 June 2015
Posted by: Author: Ryk van Niekerk
Author: Ryk van Niekerk (Moneyweb)
Is SARS a playground bully or simply trying to combat fraud?
There is a silent war on the go between tax practitioners and the South African Revenue Service (SARS). The battle reflects the so-called trust deficit between the private sector and government.
Some tax practitioners regard SARS as a playground bully. They feel there is no professional respect and the default distrust that SARS demonstrates towards them is making their working lives an administrative nightmare.
SARS strongly denies this and says it treats all taxpayers, which includes tax practitioners, exactly the same. It says it has simply implemented advanced compliance measures to combat tax fraud.
Four unrelated Gauteng-based tax practitioners spoke to Moneyweb on condition of anonymity as they fear victimisation. As a rule I don’t like to publish information from unnamed sources, but to date very few senior executives in the private sector have openly criticised government.
One owns a sizeable firm offering a wide range of financial services. The other three are running smaller operations and are dependent on SARS to pay their bills.
But boy, are they unhappy. Their frustration is almost tangible. Their assertions are strikingly similar and it is evident that there is problem. They complain about many interactions with SARS. The common thread is their complaints regarding a marked increase in the number of audits, disputes and petty queries relating to submissions and the communication structures.
Please click here to view full article.
This article first appeared on moneyweb.co.za.