Tax Practitioner Connect Issue 3 (November 2015)

Welcome to the latest edition of the Tax Practitioner’s Connect, the electronic newsletter for tax practitioners that keeps you up to date with the tax matters that affect you.


We have introduced a new process for lodging complaints to ensure that we are able to provide a high standard of service. Whether we are dealing with your client’s personal income tax, company’s income tax, import or export activities, or any of the other taxes or duties we administer, we know how important it is to get things right.

When can you complain?

A complaint is a grievance or some form of dissatisfaction experienced by the taxpayer, trader or representative, in relation to a process (including queries, returns or any service request) or a service experience that is unprofessional, lacking or not adequately resolved.

What to do before lodging a complaint

If your client disagrees with their assessment outcome or a decision taken by SARS, they should raise an objection and follow the dispute resolution processes which should be fully exhausted for case resolution before lodging a formal complaint via this process rather than escalating a query.  In some cases, we may require a valid case number.

Complaints process

A complaint form should be completed either via eFiling or by calling the SARS Complaints Management Office (CMO) on 0860 12 12 16. There is no paper copy of the complaint form. It is an online form only available on eFiling and on our systems at the CMO, Contact Centre, Branches or Mobile Units.

Types of complaints

The following categories of complaints exist:







For example, debit cards not accepted for payments.


Employee behaviour/Competence

For example, agent X was rude, or agent did not know how to assist me.


Channel experience/environment/technical issues

For example, contact centre is very slow to answer, or there is no parking at branch X.


Quality and speed of service*

For example, incorrect resolution of request, or it took 6 months to process my banking detail change.


Unresolved service/operational matter*

For example, turn-around-time exceeded and my return has not yet been processed.


Missing or lost documentation*

For example, I have submitted my return, but SARS cannot find it.


 * A case number is required for categories 4 to 5. A complaint will only be accepted if there is already a case logged and the case number is inserted on the form. It can either be the original case number or a follow-up case number.

What to expect after you complained

  • Your client (or you if you have logged the complaint on behalf of your client) will receive an SMS or email notification at various stages of the process to acknowledge the complaint received and to provide updates on the progress.

  • The resolution date will be a maximum of 21 days after the complaint was logged.

  • If your client is still not satisfied with the outcome, they may follow the Tax Ombud process.

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