Sars confident probe into tax system will restore public confidence

On Monday, Sars confirmed Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas had given permission for Ngoepe to investigate its systems.

Picture: Sars

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Revenue Services (Sars) says it’s confident the investigation into its systems by Tax Ombudsman Judge Bernard Ngoepe will give the public confidence in its processes.

On Monday, Sars confirmed Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas had given permission for Ngoepe to investigate.

Ngoepe has previously confirmed writing a letter to Sars Commissioner Tom Moyane after receiving complaints about tax refunds being late.

Sars says it’s in the interests of the institution and the public to finally find closure on this issue.

Ngoepe has said he wrote personally to Moyane about the lateness of tax refunds because he had received so many complaints on the issue.

But Sars has strongly denied claims that it was holding back money to improve its tax collection figures.

In January, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said he was concerned about Moyane’s leadership of Sars after he failed to report suspicious payments made to his deputy, Jonas Makwakwa.

Last year, the controlling bodies of tax practitioners issued statements emphasising grave concerns about the apparent lack of procedural fairness.

However, SARS responded by saying it had become aware of a number of cases where criminal activity resulted in profiles being used and bank details changed.

It says this was detected during the early phases of last year's filing season.

Funds were, therefore, withheld to make way for audits to take place.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)