What SARS does
The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is the nation’s tax collecting authority. Established in terms of the South African Revenue Service Act 34 of 1997 as an autonomous agency, we are responsible for administering the South African tax system and customs service.
Our responsibilities are to:
- Collect and administer all national taxes, duties and levies
- Collect revenue that may be imposed under any other legislation as agreed on between SARS and a state entity entitled to the revenue
- Provide a customs service that facilitates trade, maximises revenue collection and protects our borders from illegal importation and exportation of goods, and
- Advise the Minister of Finance on all revenue matters.
How we do it
We are heedful of the role of taxation in nation-building and therefore deem the tax system as an asset that belongs to the nation. In doing our work, we are guided by the code of conduct and the principles of SARS values of accountability, fairness, honesty, integrity, respect, transparency and trust.
SARS encourages compliance with tax and customs law to ensure that everyone pays their fair share. We do so in a manner that does not unduly impede trade, economic growth and development by imposing excessive and unfair administrative burden on taxpayers, traders and businesses and to achieve compliance in the most efficient and cost effective manner.
Our approach to promoting compliance is based on three principles. We must make taxpayers aware of their obligations, make it easy to meet them and act against those who break the law.