SARS working on restoring credibility and trust — Kingon

Acting South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Mark Kingon is faced with the grim task of restoring the revenue collectors’ credibility following his appointment by President Cyril Ramaphosa in March this year.

Speaking at the 21st Southern African Internal Auditors conference in Sandton on Monday Kingon did not shy away from addressing the crisis of credibility facing Sars.

“Each day when I wake up and I see news articles that seems to bring our credibility issue up … it worries me but I am committed that my organisation should be seen to be doing what is right,” he said.

The reputation of Sars was tarnished under the leadership of suspended commissioner Tom Moyane following several allegations of money laundering and fraud.

The most recent report, published by Daily Maverick last week, details how Moyane had allegedly aided Oakbay to avoid tax, and facilitated the illegal payment of value-added tax (VAT) refunds to the controversial Gupta family. According to the report, Terbium financial services is one of three companies that benefited from the VAT refunds claim from Sars.

Terbium Financial Services belongs to Nhlamulo Ndhlela — who is reportedly Moyane’s nephew — and acted as a pay agent for the Oakbay group.

READ MORE: Sars chief Tom Moyane’s nephew linked to plum R220m tax debt collection contract

The Hawks are investigating Moyane’s alleged contravention of Section 44 (3) of the VAT Act which prohibits money laundering.

Speaking to the Mail & Guardian, Kingon said that he had taken note of the reports but declined to comment, saying he is currently receiving legal advice and engaging an internal draft report on the matter.

In his address to the conference, Kingon noted that low levels of credibility, public trust and tax compliance were a serious concern and warned that failing to address this crisis will have a negative impact on the fiscus.

Tax compliance in South Africa has dipped recently, leaving Sars struggling to meet its tax collection targets. The revenue service has set its target at R1.345-trillion for this financial year. Thus far, two million taxpayers have submitted their returns and SARS has paid out R6-billion in refunds, Kingon said.

He also condemned individuals who had failed to pay their taxes, saying this was a serious concern for Sars. “For the months April and May for VAT alone we had some 35 000 vendors who chose to submit tax returns to us but simply chose not pay the VAT due to us and VAT unpaid remains around R1.5-billion,” he said.

In April, Sars released a list of 10 individuals for failing to submit returns. “This is something we are going to be doing far more regularly and publish these people’s names and it is my intention to have people prosecuted. We will be taking people on,” Kingon added.

He further warned that this season Sars had become aware of schemes used to avoid paying tax.

Kingon told the audience that Sars has drawn up a service charter, implemented in July, to encourage tax and customs compliance. The service charter is a living set out document to engage with taxpayers said Kingon, and is aimed at improving the service Sars.

“We have set the bar quite high, although some journalists have said our standards are easy to meet. Well let’s wait and see if they are easy to meet.”

Thulebona Mhlanga
Guest Author
Advertisting

Aggett tormentor had a ‘morbid’ obsession — Barbara Hogan

The former minister told the inquest into the trade unionist Neil Aggett’s death that security branch interrogator Stephan Whitehead was voyeuristic

ANC and the state step back from taking action against...

Despite alleged abuses of power and people’s trust, the ANC appears to have abandoned plans to reform the controversial Ingonyama Trust Board
Advertising

Press Releases

UKZN scientists make the grade

Dr Veron Ramsuran and Dr Lenine Liebenberg have been named in the African Academy of Science's top 40 list.

Wellcome Trust award goes to UKZN mental health champion

Dr Andr? J van Rensburg, a senior researcher in UKZN's Centre for Rural Health, received the Wellcome Trust Discretionary Award.

MTN gears up to deliver improved customer service

On 28 January, the first batch of MTN contract customers will be migrated onto the new customer service platform.

Request for expression of interest on analysis of quality and outcome indicators for regional and district hospitals in Lesotho

Introduction The Ministry of Health of Lesotho with the support of the World Bank funded Nutrition and Health Systems Strengthening...

MiX Telematics enhances in-vehicle video camera solution

The company has launched the gold MiX Vision Bureau Service, which includes driver-coaching tools to ensure risky driver behaviour can be addressed proactively and efficiently.

Boosting safety for cargo and drivers

The use of a telematics system for fleet vehicles has proved to be an important tool in helping to drive down costs and improve efficiency, says MiX Telematics Africa.

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Silencing the guns and firearms amnesty

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity

Gender-based violence is an affront to our humanity