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SAIPA Calls For South African Tax Ombudsman

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

31 August 2010


The South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) has suggested that the government should accelerate its consideration of whether to establish a tax ombudsman to adjudicate on public complaints about the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

At the moment, a service monitoring office within SARS, which was set up in 2002 and is independent of its operational offices, is available. However, its overall function is not to look into and make a judgment on a particular case, but only to determine whether SARS has fulfilled its service obligations.

The Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan, referred to the possibility of setting up a tax ombudsman in a reply to a parliamentary question in July this year. An ombudsman would be a completely independent body and would, it is felt by SAIPA, be more effective in assisting taxpayers with complaints against SARS, particularly as many were unable to take legal action for cost reasons.

SAIPA has, along with other professional bodies and institutions, made comments on the tax ombudsman proposal which could form part of a proposed Tax Administration Bill.

TAGS: individuals | South Africa | compliance | tax | tax compliance | law | Africa

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