Lodge a complaint

The service we want to offer to you

We want to provide you with a high standard of service whether we are dealing with your personal income tax, your company’s income tax, your import or export activities, or any of the other taxes or duties we administer. We know how important it is to get things right, so we are always looking for ways to improve. As part of our improved service delivery, we have introduced a new way for you to lodge a complaint if you’re still unhappy with your experience with SARS after following the normal processes. For more information, see our Service Charter.

How to complain

There are three preferred ways to send your complaint:

  • Via eFiling, click here to login to eFiling and lodge a complaint. See our step-by-step guide on how to lodge a complaint via eFiling. Please note that you have to be registered on eFiling. If not registered yet, click here.
  • Visit your nearest SARS Branch. Remember to make an appointment first.
  • Please note that the SARS Complaints Management Office (CMO) contact number has changed to a toll-free number. The new CMO number is 0800 12 12 16 and not 0860 12 12 16 anymore.

Top tip: The complaint form is not available for download or for printing and posting to you. It is an online form only available for you to complete on eFiling or it will be completed on your behalf by a SARS agent when you contact the CMO, Contact Centre, a Branch or a Mobile Tax Unit. 

When to complain

If you’re unhappy with the service after your normal interaction with SARS, you may complain. In some cases, we will require that you have a valid case number.   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 not adequately resolved.  

Top tip: If you however disagree with your assessment outcome or a decision taken by SARS, kindly raise an objection or follow the dispute resolution process, see the dispute resolution guide. Please note the dispute process is not part of the complaints process. If you disagree with a penalty, you should follow the Request for Remission process before objecting.  

If you are unhappy with SARS’s service or processes, see the flow below: 


Types of complaints

The following is a list of the complaint categories. Please indicate the appropriate one when submitting your complaint:  

No Category Example
1 Legal/Policy For example, debit cards not accepted for payments.
2 Employee behaviour/Competence For example, agent X was rude, or agent did not know how to assist me.
3 Channel experience/environment/technical issues For example, contact centre is very slow to answer, or there is no parking at branch X.
4 Quality and speed of service* For example, incorrect resolution of request, or it took 6 months to process my banking detail change.
5 Unresolved service/operational matter* For example, turn-around-time exceeded and my return has not yet been processed.
6 Missing or lost documentation* For example, I have submitted my return, but SARS cannot find it.

  * You need a case number first for the last three categories. In other words, if your complaint relates to ‘Quality and speed of service’, ‘Unresolved service/operational matter’ or ‘Missing or lost documentation’, the 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.

Before you lodge a complaint

Before you lodge a complaint, you are requested to

  • Engage the supervisor or manager at the point of contact to resolve your service issue with SARS.
  • Call the SARS Contact Centre (0800 00 7277) if the matter has still not been resolved.​
  • Make sure you get a case number as you will need this case number if you want to go further and lodge a complaint.

Once you have exhausted all these processes you can now lodge a complaint.

What to expect after you complained

You will receive an SMS or email notification at various stages of the process:

  • When you’ve logged your complaint, you will receive an acknowledgement notification the same day.
  • The resolution date will be a maximum of 21 business days after the complaint was logged.
  • If you are still not satisfied with the outcome, you may follow the Tax Ombud process.

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