Sars’ enforcement capacity has been decimated, Nugent inquiry told

Retired Judge Robert Nugent has been tasked with investigating tax administration and governance over a four-year period starting in 2014 when Tom Moyane was appointed as commissioner.

FILE: Picture: Sars

PRETORIA - The Nugent Commission of Inquiry has heard how highly specialised investigation units were disbanded, and the work given to regular auditors within the organisation, which destroyed its ability to handle complex, high-value cases.

Retired Judge Robert Nugent has been tasked with investigating tax administration and governance over a four-year period starting in 2014 when Tom Moyane was appointed as commissioner.

The commissioner is sitting in Pretoria until 31 August.

The commission heard from several witnesses about how their specialised units were simply done away with in the new organisational structure, which left no room for proper enforcement investigations.

Evidence leader Advocate Carol Steinberg explained what happened to sensitive cases that were removed from specialised investigators and given to auditors.

“Those auditors are there to do high volume, no value audits. They don’t have the capacity to investigate and it’s not part of their KPIs. These specialised cases were put into the audit factory.”

Witnesses say South African Revenue Service’s enforcement capacity has been decimated.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)