Delighted granny’s Sars debt written off after threats to repossess property
Johannesburg - An Eurhuleni retiree who was stunned by a SA Revenue Service (Sars) threat to repossess her property due to an outstanding tax bill said she was delighted that several tax specialists have come forward on pro bono basis to offer to help her and thus secure her assets.
The grandmother, also said Sars called her granddaughter and said the debt was written off but a few days later, someone also claiming to be from Sars called again and said she should pay R1000 and the debt would be written off.
Two weeks ago this publication wrote a story titled: Sars threat stuns granny. This was a story about an 80-year-old pensioner who said she was now living in fear of losing her home because she allegedly owed the taxman money that she suspects stems from more than 20 years ago when she was still employed.
The grandmother, Jabulile Ngcobo when contacted on Friday said she was very happy about the help and love showed by South Africans.
“My child, I don’t have enough words to thank you and the entire people who have been calling offering to help me.
“At first I was thinking it was a scam until my granddaughter assured me that these people got our contact details from the newspaper. I now can sleep peacefully knowing that there is help on the way.
“Someone from Sars called and told my granddaughter that my debt has been cancelled. I am very happy if this is true,” said Ngcobo.
Ngcobo’s granddaughter Nonhlanhla Khambule said an official from Sars by the name Zolani Moloi contacted her and said the debt was written off.
“Gogo signed power of attorney yesterday (last week Wednesday) and I sent it back to the lawyer from Cape Town.
“So funny enough just now I have received a call from Zolani saying they will reverse everything, gogo is not going to pay anything as they already discussed it with the other lady who was busy calling us.
“I asked him why he did not return my calls and emails from last week until yesterday, he said his phone had a problem but he did receive my email.
“But at least we got back up from all five accountants who said I should let the guy from Cape Town handle it first and when he fails they will step in,” said Khambule who has taken the responsibility for assisting her ailing grandmother.
One of the good Samaritans who offered to help is Jeanine Goosen, an accountant from JG Accounting firm who said: “The story about the 80-year-old woman who owes Sars money caught my attention this morning. I would like to see if I can help.
“Is there any way to get in contact with her?”
Another chartered accountant from Cape Town, who did not want to be identified but is now at the forefront of helping, said he had seen a lot of people being extorted by Sars.
“I am a chartered accountant in Cape Town and see so many of these ‘extortionist’ tactics by Sars,” he said.
“It is so much worse when it is an elderly person who probably doesn’t understand how she could owe an amount such as this and Sars is reluctant to provide details and a breakdown of how the amount was arrived at.
“I would like to offer my assistance in this regard by engaging with Sars on behalf of Jabulile Ngcobo.
“She would also need to sign a Sars power of attorney document in favour of our firm’s tax representative to enable us to approach Sars on her behalf in this matter,” said the accountant.
Gingi Gama from Global Citizen also offered to assist.
She said: “I am sending you this email as a result of an article you wrote about an old lady Ngcobo who is about to lose her house to Sars.
“The story tugged at my sleeve as it was posted on Facebook.
“I thought maybe I could possibly assist by seeking a tax professional that can take on Ngcobo’s case,” said Gama in an email.
Asked about the current status of this matter, Sars spokesperson Anton Fisher said: “As indicated to you previously, Chapter 6 of the Tax Administration Act prohibits Sars from divulging confidential taxpayer information.”