PRETORIA: Making Taxpayers’ Rights Matter, the educational campaign of the Office of the Tax Ombud, is launching today, 1 August 2023, coinciding with the ongoing South African Revenue Service (SARS) Tax Season, launched on 7 July.
The OTO campaign encourages and reassures taxpayers of continued and intensified promotion and protection of their rights, and embraces customer centricity when resolving their tax complaints against SARS.
Since its inception 10 years ago, the OTO has championed taxpayer rights through numerous initiatives, including the successful #TaxpayersRightsMatter campaign that helped take the OTO’s services to the doorsteps of communities across the country, ensuring thousands know about the free and impartial services it offers to taxpayers.
Tax Ombud Ms Yanga Mputa says the campaign displays the Office’s commitment to helping improve the South African tax administration system by protecting taxpayer rights and promoting tax compliance. The campaign will see OTO teams visiting public venues, including shopping centres, to engage different stakeholders and help taxpayers with the status of tax complaints and to lodge new complaints.
“Taxpayers, in general, have limited knowledge not only about tax but also about the rights they have in the country and what to do when they have tax complaints against SARS, and part of this campaign is to address that issue. We want all taxpayers, even those who might not have tax complaints for now, to know where to go and what to do when they feel the revenue collector has infringed upon their rights,” she says.
“The campaign reassures taxpayers that protecting their taxpayer rights remains our priority, and it will be a vehicle used to promote awareness about our services through different communication and marketing platforms. In addition, the campaign will bring services to various communities’ doorsteps through mall activations and stakeholder engagements,” Ms Mputa adds.
Many taxpayers do not know that they have the right to access information, to a fair, unbiased and just tax system, to privacy and confidentiality, to retain representation and to receive quality and timely service from SARS, to mention a few, and this campaign seeks to change that. “Whilst the campaign promotes taxpayer rights, the OTO will not help taxpayers escape their tax responsibilities as we promote tax compliance. On the other hand, when taxpayers knock on SARS’s doors and do not receive assistance, we want them to know the OTO is there to assist them, at no cost; mahala,” she says.
|Taxpayers and businesses who require the OTO to present to their stakeholders may make requests through [email protected]
For more information, visit www.taxombud.gov.za
ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF TAX OMBUD
Pearl Seopela: Senior Manager: Communications and Stakeholder Relations
Mobile: +27 60 971 4551 Email: [email protected]
For media interviews, please contact Russel Mamabolo: Specialist: Communications and Outreach