Tax Consulting SA's recommendations for the newly appointed SARS commissioner

12 April 2019 2 min. read
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As Edward Kieswetter takes over as the new Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (SARS), a combination of gathering information form accountants and extracting the authoritative power of current SARS regulations is the ideal strategy in the current South African environment. 

This is according to Jean du Toit, who is a Senior Attorney at South African financial consultancy Tax Consulting SA. The firm has been closely monitoring developments in South Africa’s revenue policy, particularly as default and fraud rates have hit an unprecedented high in the country.

The firm has made a number of recommendations vis-à-vis the South African budget this year, and has been vocal in simplifying budget measures in order to prevent unnecessary concern amongst South African businesses and consumers alike. Now, the firm has offered its advice for the new SARS commissioner.

Kieswetters’ appointment to the top spot at SARS has been received favourably amongst the public and private sectors alike in South Africa. He was previously the Deputy Commissioner at SARS, and is credited with the large pools of revenue that are drawn from the wealthy sections of South African society.

Tax Consulting SA's recommendations for the newly appointed SARS commissioner

“But these are extraordinary times and the question being asked by compliant South African taxpayers is why we should pay our taxes when SARS have in the past clearly not been doing their job?” says du Toit, urging that Kieswetter has his work cut out for him in the current scenario.

According to du Toit, one of the major concerns for Kieswetter is the level of corruption within SARS itself, given that a number of people implicated in recent scandals plaguing the South African economy have claimed that they had support from high lvel officials within the organisation.

Du Toit recommends screening his staff, not only to identify compromised officials, but also to assemble a task force of sorts that will be available to move in on fraudulent practices. Once this force is assembled, du Toit recommends using the power afforded by Section 50 of the Tax Administration Act.

Under the provision, judges are appointed to supervise a comprehensive investigation of non-compliance within an organisation. In the current environment, Kieswetter would be best served to invoke the Section wherever required to prevent further state capture incidents.