SARS appoints debt collectors
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.