11 November 2020 – Due to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak all tax workshops and mobile tax units have been suspended until further notice.
What is outreach and education department?
Branch Operations Engagement (BOE) is a unit within Branch Operations that gives life to the SARS strategy of expanding the footprint of the organization. The core functions for BOE are conducting education and campaigns interventions.
Engaging the taxpayer to grow the revenue base and increase compliance is a priority for the organization. Central to that is the aspiration of SARS to enhance outreach, education, service and enforcement by building collaborative partnerships with relevant sectors to improve compliance. SARS wants to make a broader societal contribution through targeted, high impact initiatives.
BOE seeks to respond to this SARS aspiration by ensuring that all the engagement of the taxpayer outside branch offices brings about the required value to the organization. Branch Operations Engagement staff members expand the footprint of SARS through the deployment of the Mobile Tax Units (MTUs) in three rural regions: KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Limpopo; increasing SARS’ co-location efforts with other state agencies such as the Thusong Service Centres and provincial government departments; and setting up Points of Service at strategic points to alleviate queues at branch offices.
The campaigns and education interventions run by the unit include:
- Conducting education workshops and seminars on the tax products administered by SARS;
- Setting up Points of Service at Malls and other strategic points to reach out to taxpayers;
- Technically assisting employers with their PAYE Reconciliations;
- Visiting employers to assist their employees during Filing Season for Individuals;
Targeting small businesses and offering them the required knowledge for tax compliance; and
- Physically verifying businesses that are identified as ‘high risk’ when they apply for VAT numbers.