Taxman to Ramaphosa: Bring it on!

19 February 2018 - 13:27 By Sunita Menon
President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) will cooperate fully with a presidential inquiry into tax administration and governance at Sars.

“Sars wishes to reiterate that it is committed to its role as an efficient and effective tax authority that collects revenue to support government's developmental agenda‚” the revenue service said in a statement on Monday.

In his state of the nation address (Sona) on Friday evening‚ President Cyril Ramaphosa said he would shortly appoint a commission of inquiry into Sars.

This comes after finance minister Malusi Gigaba asked then-president Jacob Zuma in November to set up an urgent judicial inquiry into the revenue service. The organisation has been plagued by corruption allegations and has lost significant amounts of expertise over the past three years since Tom Moyane was appointed its commissioner.

Sars’s failings and a decline in tax morality have contributed to revenue shortfalls on a scale not seen since the financial crisis‚ putting pressure on public finances.

“Sars is looking forward to the inquiry as this will assist Sars employees and its leadership to identify additional areas which seek focus and improvement‚” added Sars.

“Added to that‚ the enquiry will assist Sars to clarify a number of misconstrued issues including dispelling the perception and continued negative media narrative that has the potential to dent the legitimacy of the organisation.”

The focus for Sars in the next few weeks will be to meet the R1.2-trillion revenue target set in October's medium-term budget policy statement.