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Tax ombud says office should be independent from Sars

The office said more than 99% of its recommendations were implemented by the revenue collector, but the payment of refunds remained an ongoing issue.

FILE:  Judge Bernard Ngoepe. Picture: Twitter/@TaxOmbud.

JOHANNESBURG - The Office of the Tax Ombud is pushing for the institution to be structurally independent.

On Thursday, tax ombud Judge Bernard Ngoepe released his annual report into the state of affairs at his office and service delivery at the South African Revenue Service (Sars).

The office received nearly 5,000 complaints from taxpayers with just over 2,000 of them resolved. It said more than 99% of its recommendations were implemented by the revenue collector, but the payment of refunds remained an ongoing issue.

Ngoepe said the Office of the Tax Ombud shouldn’t be dependent on Sars.

“The way we are structured... we must be treated as an institution that is able to take care of itself and not dependent on Sars for anything.”

LISTEN: Tax ombudsman annual report into the state of affairs at Sars