Help for those in tax trouble

2012-02-23 00:00

THERE’S going to be a special tax ombudsman.

Through this office, taxpayers will have an affordable way to address administrative difficulties that the SA Revenue Service cannot resolve, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said yesterday.

It’s one of the provisions of the Tax Administration Bill, which has been approved by Parliament and is expected to be promulgated soon.

According to the bill, the mandate of the tax ombudsman will be “to review or address any complaint by a taxpayer regarding a service matter or a procedural matter arising from the application of the provisions of a tax act by the SA Revenue Service”.

Gordhan explained that the bill incorporated the common administrative elements of current tax law into one piece of legislation and made further improvements in this area.

A small businessman who had run into serious problems with SARS told The Witness a tax ombudsman would be “an interesting idea”. “When one gets into a difficult situation, one of the problems is that there are so many crooks out there, so SARS is dubious of you. It’s difficult to get decent advice. Most people tell you to just bow and scrape to SARS.

“When you’re really stuck, an independent party may be of help.”

— Witness Reporter.

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