The Tax Ombud (“OTO”) is an impartial and independent office established in 2013 with the objective of reviewing and addressing taxpayers’ complaints against SARS. The Tax Administration Act (“ACT”) authorizes the OTO to:

What types of complaints can the office of the Tax Ombud deal with?

The office of the Tax Ombud may only deal with complaints lodged against SARS. The complaints must relate to service, administrative or procedural issues and the complaints must relate to the application of tax legislation.

What types of complaints may the office of the Tax Ombud not deal with?

The OTO may not review the following:

Step 1 of lodging a complaint: Lodge complaint with SARS

A taxpayer should first seek to resolve a complaint with SARS directly, before the taxpayer may lodge a complaint with the OTO. There are two avenues that a taxpayer may utilise to lodge a complaint with SARS directly:

Step 2 of lodging a complaint: Lodge complaint with the Tax Ombud

Only once all available avenues, to resolve the complaint directly with SARS, have been exhausted can a complaint be lodged with the OTO. However, under compelling circumstances, a taxpayer may lodge a complaint directly with the OTO, without first trying to resolve the complaint directly with SARS. Section 18(5) of ACT sets out that the following factors shall be considered by the OTO when determining if a circumstance may be compelling:

What to expect once complaint is lodged

The OTO’s complaint resolution efforts includes:

What to expect once complaint is lodged- Continues

Section 18 of the ACT authorises the OTO to determine, independently of SARS, how a review will be conducted and whether a review should be terminated before completion. While section 18(6) of the Act requires that the OTO inform the taxpayers of the results of the review or any action taken in response to the request, but at the time and in the manner chosen by the OTO.

How to lodge a complaint with the Tax Ombud

A taxpayer must first obtain the necessary complaint form from one of the following sources:

Once a taxpayer obtains the complaint form, he should complete the form in full:

Once a taxpayer has completed the form in full, the taxpayer should sign and date the form and all other relevant documents. However, when a taxpayer is using a representative, the taxpayer must submit the following additional documents:

Taxpayer future tax obligations

Where tax is due and while the OTO is dealing with a taxpayer’s complaint, the taxpayer should continue to pay the tax amounts that are due. If the taxpayer stops or delays his payments, the taxpayer will be charged interest and penalties by SARS.

Source utilised:

http://www.amcham.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Presentation-on-the-Tax-Ombud-by-Eric-Mkhawane-03-November-2015.pdf

http://www.taxombud.gov.za/Documents/HowToLodgeAComplaint.pdf

http://pmg-assets.s3-website-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/Tax_Ombud_Annual_Report_17_18.pdf

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