​SARS welcomes investigation into SARS systems

Pretoria, 20 March 2017 – The South African Revenue Service (SARS) can confirm that the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mcebisi Jonas, has informed SARS that permission has been granted to the Office of the Tax Ombud to investigate SARS’ systems.
SARS would like to place on record its full support of the investigation by the Tax Ombud.  Given the recent narrative about the issue of refunds, we are confident that the results of this investigation will provide the South African public with the requisite confidence in the SARS’ systems.
The Office of the Tax Ombud and the Ministry of Finance can be assured of full cooperation from SARS during the investigation. It is in the interest of SARS and the public to finally find closure and finality to this issue.
We remain confident about the strength and ‘robustness’ of the South African Revenue Service systems and processes. In fact, SARS is determined to ensure that our systems and processes simplify the process of meeting’s one’s tax obligations.
Much of the current taxpayer complaints pertain to VAT refunds. It must highlighted that SARS has an obligation to ensure both service and compliance which includes complying with the legislation and ensuring that all incorrect activities are managed correctly which could include fraud.
Due to an increase in fraud, SARS has had to react by tightening up our Risk Rules.  Despite such actions SARS has only referred 11% of cases for detailed audit. Regarding Personal Income Tax payments of 98.2% is paid within (72 hours). 
SARS looks forward to cooperating with the Tax Ombud and providing any assistance going forward.