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The silent tax war

Wednesday, 03 June 2015   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Ryk van Niekerk
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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 practitioners

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.

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Elsie L. van den Bergh says...
Posted Thursday, 04 June 2015
Absolutly correct. I have aged 10 years since I stated interacting with SARS. They seem to think the citizens of SA is in their debt and should be treated in a degrading way



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.

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