Tips for Tax sea­son

The Star Early Edition - - GO ASK GEORGIE! - Ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion from tax­om­bud.gov.za and the­sait.org.za

MKHAWANE says be hon­est and sub­mit on time. “Don’t wait for the last minute. Have your doc­u­ments ready – all your doc­u­men­tary proof. Claim only what you are ex­pected to claim. Don’t take chances, or over­es­ti­mate your ex­penses.”

He warns against tax prac­ti­tion­ers who prom­ise they’ll get you a re­fund be­fore hav­ing seen your doc­u­ments. “They will try to force a re­fund and may be com­ing up with ways to de­fraud. If SARS de­tects that, the tax­payer can be made to re­pay triple the amount they were re­funded. That’s very dan­ger­ous be­cause you can get into big trou­ble.”

HOW TO LODGE A COM­PLAINT WITH THE OTO:

1. Phone the call cen­tre or visit your lo­cal branch to dis­cuss your com­plaint, and get a case num­ber. Give them a “rea­son­able time” (typ­i­cally a min­i­mum of seven days) to at­tempt to re­solve your com­plaint. 2. Sub­mit your com­plaint ei­ther in writ­ing, tele­phonic or via e-fil­ing to the SARS Com­plaints Man­age­ment Of­fice. Call 0860 12 12 16 for de­tails or visit www.sars.gov.za/Con­tact/ How-Do-I/Pages/Lodge%20a%20 com­plaint.aspx. If your mat­ter still hasn’t been re­solved, you can ap­proach the OTO. 3. For an OTO com­plaint form, visit the Of­fice of the Tax Om­bud, or you can call them, fax or email to ask for a copy. It’s also avail­able at tax­om­bud.gov.za 4. Take your time to read through the form and gather all the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion be­fore com­plet­ing it. Doc­u­ment the fac­tual sit­u­a­tion of your com­plaint in chrono­log­i­cal order. At­tach all the rel­e­vant sup­port­ing doc­u­ments. En­sure the form is com­pleted in full. Write down the ref­er­ence num­bers from SARS or, if es­ca­lated to a SARS branch, in­di­cate the name of the branch, date and per­son you dealt with. 5. All com­plaint forms must be signed and dated. If the form does not al­low you to re­late your com­plaint fully, use ex­tra pa­per which must be at­tached to your com­plaint form. The OTO will not ac­cept un­signed forms. If there is not enough ev­i­dence to sup­port your com­plaint, the mat­ter may be closed. How­ever, the OTO will give you an op­por­tu­nity to sub­stan­ti­ate your com­plaint or pro­vide the nec­es­sary ev­i­dence. 6. If you feel you have com­pelling cir­cum­stances, there’s a sec­tion where you need to ex­plain your rea­sons for not fol­low­ing SARS’ com­plaints process.

THE OTO CAN­NOT AS­SIST IN THE FOL­LOW­ING IN­STANCES:

1. Leg­is­la­tion or tax pol­icy – to ad­dress these is­sues, send your tips to the Fi­nance Min­is­ter ahead of his an­nual Bud­get speech or at­tend par­lia­men­tary hear­ings on draft leg­is­la­tion; 2. In mat­ters be­fore court or on ap­peal, these must be dealt with by the Tax Board or Tax Court, so you will be heard by an in­de­pen­dent tri­bunal that is ca­pa­ble of mak­ing a bind­ing de­ci­sion.

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