SARS forges ahead

Monday, March 19, 2018

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) remains focused on delivering on its mandate despite the negative media coverage it has been receiving.

“The South African Revenue Service wishes to express its deep concern and disturbance at the ongoing media onslaught that threatens to undermine the integrity of the organization,” said the revenue service on Monday.

SARS acknowledged that the media is an important institution that plays a pivotal role in society. 

“But SARS has observed and witnessed an unrelenting media attack that is skewed to project a misleading and unsubstantiated tone that is aimed at denting the reputation of the organisation.”

The revenue service said the latest negative media coverage was that of allegations that irregular Value Added Tax (VAT) was made to Oakbay Investments. On Friday, SARS dismissed a Daily Maverick report that stated that Commissioner Tom Moyane played a role in the matter that resulted in R70 million VAT repayments to Oakbay.

“SARS is concerned that this negative media campaign deliberately undermines significant successes and other achievement that reveal that the organisation is solid, focused and efficient in carrying out its mandate,” said SARS.

The revenue service highlighted some of its achievements which include: 

  • Reaching the historic R1-trillion mark in three years, including the current year;
  • R187.5 billion of high risk and possible fraudulent refunds for the past three years which could have been lost to the fiscus, with more than R28-billion of this prevented in the current financial year;
  • Gross Domestic Product ratio of almost 27% in difficult economic conditions, the success of which was last achieved before the 2008/09 recession;
  • The restructuring that has seen historically disadvantaged individual, especially African, rise to the highest levels of the organisation;
  • R2.7 billion revenue already collected under the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (SVDP);
  • More than R205-billion paid in refunds across all tax types in the past 10 and a half months; and
  • Customs busts of illicit goods worth over R400-million since 1 January 2018.

”SARS respects media freedom and its role in holding office-bearers and public servants to account. Furthermore, the appreciation extends to the contribution of the media in exposing acts of criminality and corruption. SARS however, humbly requests balanced reporting and fairness,” it said. -

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