Tax Ombud Bernard Ngoepe, speaking at the annual report.
Tax Ombud Bernard Ngoepe, speaking at the annual report.

JOHANNESBURG - The Office of the Tax Ombud has seen a drastic increase in the number of complaints raised by individuals and representatives from taxpayers.

The complaints increased by 62% from 2 133 to 3 454, placing considerable pressure on the complaints resolution process at the Tax Ombud Office, as the number of staff members dealing with the complaints did not increase.

Tax Ombud Bernard Ngoepe said during the launch of his office’s annual report for 2016/17 the complaints centred around dispute resolution, delayed refunds and the incorrect allocation of payments by the SA  Revenue Service (Sars).

Keith Engel, the chief executive of  the South African Institute of Tax Professionals, said it was clear that many of the issues raised were operational and not because of “some evil plot” to get back at taxpayers.

He said Sars and taxpayers should “give each other some slack”. 

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Tax Ombud Bernard Ngoepe, speaking at the annual report.

He said all the fact should be placed on the table and people should be allowed to state their case. “There are bad apples out there but they are not the majority. Unfortunately the view is that they are the majority, which means that bad policy will follow. I hope we can move away from that”. 

Read the full version of this story in tomorrow's edition of Business Report.

- BUSINESS REPORT