SARS ap­points debt col­lec­tors

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - NEWS -

THE South African Rev­enue Ser­vice (SARS) said yes­ter­day it had ap­pointed eight debt col­lec­tion agen­cies to re­cover as much as pos­si­ble of the R16.6-bil­lion in debt owed to it.

“The ob­jec­tive is to boost rev­enue col­lec­tion by out­sourc­ing the re­cov­ery of older and rel­a­tively small amounts due to SARS‚” the agency said in a state­ment.

The con­tract takes ef­fect im­me­di­ately and will run un­til Fe­bru­ary 28 next year.

There are more than 2.3 mil­lion tax­pay­ers and traders who owe SARS just un­der R150-bil­lion.

The agen­cies that have been ap­pointed are CSS Credit So­lu­tion Ser­vices‚ ITC Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tors‚ Medaco Cap­i­tal Ser­vices‚ New In­te­grated Credit So­lu­tions‚ Nor­man Bis­set & As­so­ciates Group‚ Rev­enue Con­sult­ing‚ Trans­ac­tional Cap­i­tal Re­cov­er­ies and Van De Ven­ter Mo­japelo.

Tax­pay­ers and traders with out­stand­ing ac­counts will only be con­tacted via elec­tronic chan­nels. The agen­cies will em­bark on the tra­di­tional debt col­lec­tion ac­tiv­i­ties‚ in­clud­ing out­bound calls, trac­ing of tax­pay­ers‚ send­ing out no­tices (SMSes‚ e-mails or let­ters/no­tices)‚ SARS said.

It cau­tioned: “Un­der no cir­cum­stances should debtors pay money di­rectly to the debt col­lec- tion agency. All out­stand­ing tax or du­ties must only be paid di­rectly to SARS via au­tho­rised pay­ment chan­nels.”

The debt col­lec­tion agen­cies have also been tasked with “en­cour­ag­ing non-com­pli­ant tax­pay­ers” to sub­mit their out­stand­ing re­turns to SARS to avoid the im­po­si­tion of any fur­ther in­ter­est or penal­ties and crim­i­nal charges‚ SARS said.

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