New management at SARS is trying to rebuild the institution as the world class organisation it once was.
Amongst the outcomes it hopes to achieve in this tax year are increases:
To achieve these goals, SARS has just released a new Service Charter.
The 2018 “Service Charter” replaces the 2007 “Client Charter” which was taken off SARS’ website in 2012.
The new Charter starts well by undertaking to be fair and honest with taxpayers, to be courteous, to respect taxpayers’ privacy and to allow taxpayers mechanisms to understand and appeal assessments.
In turn, taxpayers need to be timeous and honest in their dealings with SARS, pay all taxes owed, ensure SARS has your correct information, not be involved in or encourage corruption and encourage others to pay their tax.
So far, so good but when it comes to actual interaction between SARS and taxpayers, the word “endeavour” becomes prevalent. For example, SARS will “endeavour” to:
In general, at least this should be considered a promising step by SARS to positively re-engage with taxpayers.
There has also been an ongoing debate over a Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TBOR). The Davis Tax Committee has advocated for this, arguing that the relationship between SARS and citizens is fundamental to the social contract between the people and the government. TBORs are considered as being part of international best practice, so let’s see what develops.
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