Nugent Commission told no strategy to tackle taxpayer non-compliance

The commission heard the compliance unit was disbanded during a restructuring process after Tom Moyane's appointment as commissioner.

FILE: Retired judge Robert Nugent pictured on 2 July 2018. Picture: EWN

PRETORIA - The Nugent Commission of Inquiry has heard how to this day, Sars doesn’t have a strategy to address taxpayer non-compliance.

The commission heard the compliance unit was disbanded during a restructuring process after Tom Moyane's appointment as commissioner.

This was among the submissions from the former head of a compliance research unit Dr Thabelo Ramobhele.

The commission is investigating Sars from the time Moyane was appointed four years ago.

LISTEN: Sars probe into Moyane changing perception of revenue service?

Evidence leader advocate Carol Steinberg read from an affidavit drafted by one of Ramobhele’s former subordinates which addressed the climate of fear after the restructuring.

“Fear has gripped the organisation and staff were too scared to answer any questions. I believe the lack of communication was an intentional manoeuvre by the leadership to create havoc and disharmony, so that the targeted people would leave Sars.”

He says Sars’ executive committee met in October to discuss declining revenue collection.

“Another decision by the exco was to expedite the process of reconstituting the team. We need the compliance programme. As we speak today, that decision by exco has not been implemented.”

Three witnesses are lined up to testify at the commission on Wednesday.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)