Over 2 100 complain to tax ombud in last financial year

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Cape Town – Complaints to the tax ombudsman spiked from 156 to 2 133 in a two-year period, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said in a written parliamentary reply.

He was responding to a question posed by Anton Alberts from the Freedom Front Plus who asked Gigaba to divulge the number of complaints lodged against the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

According to information SARS provided to Gigaba there were altogether 156 complaints in the 2013/14 financial year, 1 270 in 2014/15 and 2 133 in 2015/16.

Gigaba said the number of complaints in the 2016/17 will be made available once SARS’ annual report is tabled in Parliament.

Over the past two years, the tax ombudsman ruled in favour of taxpayers in the majority of instances.

READ: Tax ombud sees further rise in complaints 

The success rate for taxpayers was 80% in 2013/14, 84% in 2014/15 and 87% in 2015/16.

This year, Tax Ombudsman Judge Bernard Ngoepe was given permission by former finance minister Pravin Gordhan to investigate systemic problems at SARS as a result of delays in the payout of refunds.

Fin24 earlier reported that there was a 5% increase in complaints to the tax ombud in the 2016/17 financial year. This was on the back of a 187% increase the previous year.

SARS however has maintained that it believes in the strength and ‘robustness’ of their systems and processes. 

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