Taxpayers who require assistance with tax matters have been encouraged to visit the Fourways Mall today as the Tax Ombud is there to assist people who have tax complaints against the South African Revenue Service (SARS).
“We are at the Fourways Mall promoting awareness about the free and impartial services we provide to taxpayers with tax complaints against SARS. Being at the mall is part of our concerted efforts to take our services to the doorsteps of communities nationwide,” Tax Ombud Yanga Mputa said on Friday.
The Ombud has been providing status updates on existing tax complaints, but most importantly, help those who want to lodge new complaints.
“The response from taxpayers, tax practitioners and businesses since we have been here has been amazing, and this shows the need for us to go to our communities and empower the public about the much-needed service we provide to those needing assistance,” Mputa said.
Taxpayers have been benefitting from the Tax Ombud’s initiative to take services to the doorsteps of communities since Tuesday, 22 August 2023. The campaign at Fourways Mall ends on Monday, 28 August 2023.
She said that while the Office of the Tax Ombud plans to increase its footprint (it currently has a single office in Menlyn, Pretoria), visiting communities and increasing face-to-face engagements with stakeholders will remain a priority.
“Although we have embraced digitisation enabling taxpayers to lodge complaints and engage with us from anywhere in the country, we also acknowledge the desire for that personal face-to-face engagement from our stakeholders, as well as that some have not embraced technology,” Mputa said.
She encouraged taxpayers to visit the Fourways Mall food court for assistance.
“Our team of operational, legal and communications specialists are ready to answer your tax questions and assist with tax complaints. The Office of the Tax Ombud senior leadership, including the CEO Professor Thabo Legwaila, is also providing full support to our team at the mall. I will also be at the mall on Saturday, 26 August 2023, to assist and provide support,” Mputa said.
She reiterated that the Office of the Tax Ombud is committed to promoting and protecting taxpayer rights but will not assist taxpayers in dodging their tax obligations.
“We have access to the SARS system and can independently verify any information received from taxpayers, which is very important to ensure our impartiality when dealing with complaints,” Mputa said.
The visit to the mall is part of the Making Taxpayers’ Rights Matter educational campaign launched on 1 August 2023 by the Tax Ombud.
Delays in payment of tax refunds and identity theft are some of the typical taxpayer complaints received at the mall.
Source: South African Government News Agency