SARS welcomes Presidential tax inquiry

Monday, February 19, 2018

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of an inquiry into tax administration and governance at the revenue service.

“The South African Revenue Service welcomes President Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation pledge to launch a Commission of Inquiry into tax administration and governance at SARS. SARS wishes to reiterate that it is committed to its role as an efficient and effective tax authority that collects revenue to support government's developmental agenda,” said the revenue service on Monday.

Delivering his maiden State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament on Friday evening, President Ramaphosa said the inquiry is at the request of Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.

“At the request of the Minister of Finance, I will shortly appoint a Commission of Inquiry into Tax Administration and Governance of SARS to ensure that we restore the credibility of the service and strengthen its capacity to meet its revenue targets,” he said of the entity falling within the portfolio of National Treasury.

In its response on Monday, SARS said it will cooperate fully with the inquiry as soon as the terms of reference are finalised and received from the Presidency or Treasury.

“SARS is looking forward to the inquiry, as this will assist SARS employees and its leadership to identify additional areas which seek focus and improvement. Added to that, the inquiry will assist SARS to clarifying a number of misconstrued issues, including dispelling the perception and continued negative media narrative that has the potential to dent the legitimacy of the organisation.”

The revenue service said the next six weeks will be critical for it and the country as it strives to attain and surpass the R1.214 trillion revenue target set in October's Medium Term Budget Policy Statement.

“All 14 000 staff, including the executive committee and management, are currently focused, working hard and continue to call and make a pledge to all South Africans to please do their national duty and obligation of paying their taxes as we take the country to the highest trajectory.”

It urged taxpayers to use available service points such as eFiling, help-you-efile, the SARS mobi-site and mobi-app, branches and contact centres for assistance with their taxes. –

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