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Read up on publications relevant to the Office of the Tax Ombud and tax law in South Africa.

THE TAX ADMINISTRATION LAWS
LAUNCH BILL 18 OF 2016

The Tax Administration Laws Amendment Bill 18 of 2016 introduced 26 October 2016, which include inputs from the public, is now available on our website. The section relevant to the Office of the Tax Ombud is on page 27.
 

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OFFICE OF THE TAX OMBUD
LANGUAGE POLICY

The Office of the Tax Ombud Language Policy has been gazetted. Follow the link below to read the language policy.

 

TAX
LEGISLATION

Read a tax legislation excerpt on the Office of the Tax Ombud. 

STRATEGIC AND ANNUAL
PERFORMANCE PLAN 

Read the annual performance plan from the Office of the Tax Ombud. 

ANNUAL
REPORTS

Read the annual reports from the Office of the Tax Ombud 

COMPLAINTS
GUIDE

Read the guide detailing the complaints process of the Office of the Tax Ombud

SYSTEMIC ISSUES

A systemic issue is a particular matter that can be regarded as the underlying cause for a complaint that affects, or will affect, a number of taxpayers in the tax system. Systemic issues may arise due to how specific systems in the South African Revenue Service (SARS) function; the way in which SARS’s policies, practices or procedures are drafted and implemented; or even the manner in which legislative provisions are applied or disregarded. A systemic examination arises when an issue is identified that may impact a large number of taxpayers or a segment of the population. Our Office conducts reviews of the individual service complaints and telephone calls received, with the goal of identifying possible trends. We engage our Recognis​ed Controlling Bodies (RCB), tax professionals, academia and community support, while continuously scanning and receiving media queries to assist in identifying systemic issues.

SYSTEMIC INVESTIGATION REPORT 2020

SYSTEMIC INVESTIGATION REPORT 2017

 

FAIRNESS FOR ALL - CASE STUDIES

FAIRNESS FOR ALL: CASE SEVEN

The Tax Season is upon us, and as per tradition, the OTO expects an influx of complaints from taxpayers. Some of the issues might seem small but have serious financial implications for taxpayers. The case below involves SARS delaying finalising the verification of a VAT period which subsequently led to a delay in the verification and finalisation of a tax refund. This tax case details a complaint that saw the OTO’s intervention to secure the payment of over R3 million in tax refunds.

 

FAIRNESS FOR ALL: CASE SIX

The Office of the Tax Ombud is committed to helping improve the country’s tax administration system by, among others, protecting taxpayers' rights. But there are instances where the actions of tax complainants are questionable, and the Tax Ombud would rule in favour of the South African Revenue Service or reject a tax complaint outright. Remember, the Tax Ombud is neither for SARS nor for taxpayers but looks at available facts and makes impartial decisions.

 

FAIRNESS FOR ALL: CASE FIVE

In this issue we feature a critical intervention by the Office of the Tax Ombud that earned the Office a testimonial from a taxpayer. The intervention led to SARS paying the taxpayer R86 573.64 in VAT refunds, inclusive of interest. The OTO reiterates that while it will do everything possible to protect taxpayers’ rights, it is always impartial and will examine the facts before reaching a fair decision, regardless of whom it favours.

 

FAIRNESS FOR ALL: CASE FOUR

In this issue we discuss a critical intervention by the Office of the Tax Ombud that led to SARS refunding close to R196 000.00 to a taxpayer after the money was unfairly taken from its bankaccounts. The Tax Ombud Judge Bernard Ngoepe always reiterates the importance of tax compliance andthe rights of taxpayers to be treated fairly by SARS and to pay only what is due, not a cent less or more. The case below is testimony to the success of a critical intervention by the OTO to protect the rights of a taxpayer and secure the return of funds wrongly deducted from its bank accounts.

 

FAIRNESS FOR ALL: CASE THREE

In the November edition of Fairness for All, we discussed a case where the Office of the Tax Ombud (OTO) highlighted SARS’s conduct in withholding refunds for periods not under verification or audit. In that case, SARS only instituted an audit when its action was challenged by the OTO. This delayed response was seen as an attempt to legitimise its disregard for the legal provisions of the Tax Administration Act (TAA). The refunds involved in this matter exceeded R70 million.
Since then, a similar matter, with refunds worth approximately R1.6 billion, was argued in the Johannesburg High Court and presided over by Judge Yacoob.

 

FAIRNESS FOR ALL: CASE TWO

Welcome to the second issue of Fairness for All, the Office of the Tax Ombud’s informative monthly newsletter featuring important case studies. The current issue features a crucial case, which saw highly questionable actions by the South African Revenue Service, several contraventions of tax legislation, and a possible abuse of power. The intervention of the OTO resulted in over R73 million in refunds, as well as R6 million in interest payment by SARS.​

 

FAIRNESS FOR ALL: CASE ONE

Welcome to the first issue of Fairness for All, the Office of the Tax Ombud’s informative monthly newsletter, featuring important case studies.

 

FAIR PLAY - NEWSLETTERS

FAIR PLAY ISSUE 21

Welcome to the 21st issue of our newsletter, themed The Right to Know About Your Tax Matters. This issue comes at a crucial time, during the SARS tax season, when many individuals and businesses file tax returns. We have a selection of insightful articles dealing with various tax-related matters, including taxpayers’ right to appeal and have tax complaints finalised within a reasonable time. The newsletter also includes two opinion pieces from external contributors giving their insights on Taxpayer education is crucial in building an effective tax culture and Home-office expenses: during the times of the pandemic and post-pandemic. Click the link below to read the full newsletter.

 

FAIR PLAY ISSUE 20

Welcome to the latest edition of Fair Play, the OTOs stakeholder newsletter. In this edition, we consider how taxpayers can, and should, take charge of their tax affairs. Click the link below to read the full newsletter.

 

FAIR PLAY ISSUE 19

Welcome to the nineteenth edition of Fair Play, the OTOs stakeholder newsletter. In this edition, we look at taxpayers' rights, and the balance of power between SARS and taxpayers. Click the link below to read the full newsletter.

 

FAIR PLAY ISSUE 18

Welcome to the last edition of Fair Play for 2020, the OTOs stakeholder newsletter. In this edition, we celebrate the publication of our Annual Report.

 

FAIR PLAY ISSUE 17

Welcome to our anniversary edition of Fair Play, the OTOs stakeholder newsletter. In this edition, we celebrate seven years of fairness, and of pursuing excellence in serving taxpayers and improving our country’s tax administration system. Click the link below to read the full newsletter or find it on our Publications Page.

 

FAIR PLAY ISSUE 16

Welcome to the sixteenth issue of the Office of the Tax Ombud’s stakeholder newsletter, Fair Play, a vibrant and informative newsletter which aims to keep stakeholders abreast of important matters affecting the Office and developments in the tax recourse sphere. Click the link below to read the full newsletter or find it on our Publications Page.

 

FAIR PLAY ISSUE 15

Welcome to the fifteenth issue of the Office of the Tax Ombud’s stakeholder newsletter, Fair Play, a vibrant and informative newsletter which aims to keep stakeholders abreast of important matters affecting the Office and developments in the tax recourse sphere. Click the link below to read the full newsletter or find it on our Publications Page.

 

FAIR PLAY ISSUE 14

Welcome to the fourteenth issue of the Office of the Tax Ombud’s stakeholder newsletter, Fair Play, a vibrant and informative newsletter which aims to keep stakeholders abreast of important matters affecting the Office and developments in the tax recourse sphere. Click the link below to read the full newsletter or find it on our Publications Page.

 

FAIR PLAY ISSUE 13 - SIX YEARS OF BRIDGING THE GAP OF FAIRNESS AND TAXPAYER RIGHTS

Welcome to the 13th and Special Edition of Fair Play newsletter commemorating Six Years of Bridging the Gap of Fairness and Taxpayer Rights Click the link below to read the full newsletter or find it on our Publications Page.

 

FAIR PLAY ISSUE 12

Welcome to the twelfth issue of the Office of the Tax Ombud’s stakeholder newsletter, Fair Play, a vibrant and informative newsletter which aims to keep stakeholders abreast of important matters affecting the Office and developments in the tax recourse sphere.
Click the link below to read the full newsletter or find it on our Publications Page.

 

FAIR PLAY ISSUE 11

Welcome to the eleventh issue of the Office of the Tax Ombud’s stakeholder newsletter, Fair Play, a vibrant and informative newsletter which aims to keep stakeholders abreast of important matters affecting the Office and developments in the tax recourse sphere. Click the link below to read the full newsletter or find it on our Publications Page.

 

FAIR PLAY ISSUE 10 – SPECIAL EDITION

Welcome to the tenth issue of the Office of the Tax Ombud’s stakeholder newsletter (Fair Play), a special edition commemorating “Five Years of Fairness. Click the link below to read the full newsletter or find it on our Publications Page.

 

FAIR PLAY ISSUE 9

Welcome to the ninth issue of the Office of the Tax Ombud’s stakeholder newsletter, Fair Play, a vibrant and informative newsletter which aims to keep stakeholders abreast of important matters affecting the Office and developments in the tax recourse sphere. Click the link below to read the full newsletter or find it on our Publications Page.

 

FAIR PLAY ISSUE 8

Welcome to the eight issue of the Office of the Tax Ombud’s stakeholder newsletter, Fair Play, a vibrant and informative newsletter which aims to keep stakeholders abreast of important matters affecting the Office and developments in the tax recourse sphere. Click the link below to read the full newsletter or find it on our Publications Page.

 

FAIR PLAY ISSUE 7

Welcome to the seventh issue of the Office of the Tax Ombud’s stakeholder newsletter, Fair Play, a vibrant and informative newsletter which aims to keep stakeholders abreast of important matters affecting the Office and developments in the tax recourse sphere. Click the link below to read the full newsletter or find it on our Publications Page.

 

FAIR PLAY ISSUE 6

Welcome to the sixth issue of the Office of the Tax Ombud’s stakeholder newsletter, Fair Play, a vibrant and informative newsletter which aims to keep stakeholders abreast of important matters affecting the Office and developments in the tax recourse sphere. Click the link below to read the full newsletter or find it on our Publications Page.

 

FAIR PLAY ISSUE 5

Welcome to the fifth issue of the Office of the Tax Ombud’s stakeholder newsletter, Fair Play, a vibrant and informative newsletter which aims to keep stakeholders abreast of important matters affecting the Office and developments in the tax recourse sphere. Click the link below to read the full newsletter or find it on our Publications Page.

 

Fair Play Newsletter Issue 4

Welcome to the fourth issue of the Office of the Tax Ombud’s stakeholder newsletter, Fair Play, a vibrant and informative newsletter which aims to keep stakeholders abreast of important matters affecting the Office and developments in the tax recourse sphere. Click the link below to read the full newsletter.

 

Fair Play Newsletter Issue 3

Welcome to the third issue of the Office of the Tax Ombud’s stakeholder newsletter, Fair Play, a vibrant and informative newsletter which aims to keep stakeholders abreast of important matters affecting the Office and developments in the tax recourse sphere. Click the link below to read the full newsletter or find it on our Publications Page.

 

Fair Play Newsletter Issue 2

Welcome to the second issue of the Office of the Tax Ombud’s stakeholder newsletter, Fair Play, a vibrant and informative newsletter which aims to keep stakeholders abreast of important matters affecting the Office and developments in the tax recourse sphere. Click the link below to read the full newsletter or find it on our Publications Page.

 

Fair Play Newsletter - Issue 1 2016

Welcome to the first issue of the Office of the Tax Ombud’s stakeholder newsletter, Fair Play, a vibrant and informative newsletter which aims to keep stakeholders abreast of important matters affecting the Office and developments in the tax recourse sphere. Click the link below to read the full newsletter.

 

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